Underwriting Government Debt Auctions: Auction Choice and Information Production
57 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2016 Last revised: 22 Dec 2019
Date Written: October 25, 2016
In this paper we examine a novel two-stage mechanism for selling government securities, wherein the dealers underwrite in the first stage the sale of securities, which are auctioned in stage 2, via either a Discriminatory Auction (DA) or a Uniform Price Auction (UPA). Using proprietary data on auctions during 2006-2013, we find that a) the first stage underwriting auction generate significant information, including predicting the likelihood of devolvement, and bid shading, and b) the outcome of the underwriting auction may generate enough asymmetry amongst bidders which may make DA dominate UPA in certain counterfactual situations. We document that the unique two stage auction design provides a market driven mechanism to simultaneously insure against auction failures, and produce information about the quality of the underlying issue.
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