Securities Auctions with Pre-Project Information Management
42 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2016 Last revised: 13 Feb 2023
Date Written: January 31, 2023
This paper analyzes securities auctions in which bidders have an option to acquire information after winning the right to develop a project. The payment consists of an up-front cash bid and a contingent security bid, which distorts investment and information acquisition relative to the first-best. We order securities in terms of their steepness: the payment of a steeper security is more sensitive to high project values. The agent's incentives to acquire information that prevents either cost overruns (Type I errors) or false cancellations (Type II errors) decrease with the steepness of securities. The optimal limited-liability securities auction involves bidding debt that minimizes the distortions in the agent's incentives to acquire performance-enhancing information. The model delivers implications on the practices commonly observed in oil lease auctions.
Keywords: Security Bid, Auction, Information Acquisition, Investment, Security Design, Oil and Gas Lease Auctions
JEL Classification: D44, D47, D81, D82, D86, G31, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation