The multiple unit auction with variable supply
The theory of multiple unit auctions traditionally assumes that the offered quantity is fixed. I argue that this assumption is not appropriate for many applications because the seller may be able and willing to adjust the supply to the bidding. In this paper I address this shortcoming by analyzing a multi-unit auction game between a monopolistic seller who can produce arbitrary quantities at constant unit cost, and oligopolistic bidders. I establish the existence of a subgame-perfect equilibrium for price discriminating and for uniform price auctions. I also show that bidders have an ...
Treasury auctions: what do the recent models and results tell us?
Auctions, as selling mechanisms, have existed for well over two thousand years. Today, one of the most important auction markets in the world is that of U.S. Treasury securities; approximately $2 trillion worth of Treasury securities was auctioned in 1995. ; A long-standing debate has been about selecting an appropriate auction format for various Treasury securities, a format that would be least subject to possible manipulation by individual traders or a cartel and also result in the highest possible revenues for the Treasury. The Treasury is currently experimenting with what is called a ...
The auctions of Swiss government bonds: should the Treasury price discriminate or not?
Ever since Friedman's (1960) contribution, there has been an ongoing controversy about whether the Treasury should auction off its government debt with a discriminatory or with a uniform price format. Many industrialized countries, the United States or Germany, for instance, use discriminatory auctions, while Switzerland applies to uniform price rule. Using recent contributions to multi-unit auction theory, we analyze data on the bids submitted to Swiss Treasury bond auctions over the last three years. We then construct hypothetical bid functions that would occur under price discrimination. ...
The institutionalization of treasury note and bond auctions, 1970-75
The substitution of auctions for fixed-price offerings was expected to lower the U.S. Treasury's cost of financing the federal debt. Despite this and other potential benefits, the Treasury failed in both 1935 and 1963 in its attempts to introduce regular auction sales of coupon-bearing securities. This article examines the Treasury's third and successful attempt between 1970 and 1975. The author identifies three likely reasons why the Treasury succeeded in the early 1970s: it closely imitated its successful and well-understood bill auction process, it extended the maturity of auction ...
Credit default swap auctions
The rapid growth of the credit default swap (CDS) market and the increased number of defaults in recent years have led to major changes in the way CDS contracts are settled when default occurs. Auctions are increasingly the mechanism used to settle these contracts, replacing physical transfers of defaulted bonds between CDS sellers and buyers. Indeed, auctions will become a standard feature of all recent CDS contracts from now on. In this paper, we examine all of the CDS auctions conducted to date and evaluate their efficacy by comparing the auction outcomes to prices of the underlying bonds ...
Computationally convenient distributional assumptions for common value auctions
Although the mathematical foundations of common value auctions have been well understood since Milgrom & Weber (1982), equilibrium bidding strategies are computationally complex. Very few calculated examples can be found in the literature, and only for highly specialized cases. This paper introduces two sets of distributional assumptions that are flexible enough for theoretical and empirical applications and yet permit straightforward calculation of equilibrium bidding strategies.
Disadvantaged business enterprise goals in government procurement contracting: an analysis of bidding behavior and costs
Programs that encourage the participation of disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) as subcontractors have been a part of government procurement auctions for over three decades. In this paper, we examine the impact of a program that requires prime contractors to subcontract out a portion of a highway procurement project to DBE firms. We study how DBE subcontracting requirements affect bidding behavior in federally funded projects. Within a symmetric independent private value framework, we use the equilibrium bidding function to obtain the cost distribution of firms undertaking projects ...
Auctions implemented by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the Great Recession
During the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve implemented several novel programs to address adverse conditions in financial markets. Three of these temporary programs relied on an auction mechanism: the Term Auction Facility, the Term Securities Lending Facility, and the disposition of the Maiden Lane II portfolio. These auctions differed from one another in several dimensions: their objectives, rules, and the financial asset being traded. The object of this paper is to document, compare, and provide a rationale for the mechanics of the different auctions implemented by the Federal Reserve ...
Going once, going twice, sold: auctions and the success of economic theory
It has been said that, "the value of anything is not what it cost to produce, but what you can get for it at an auction." The U.S. government's proving just that with its auctioning off of telecommunication license.