Should the Treasury price discriminate? A procedure for computing hypothetical bid functions

Daniel Heller and Yvan Lengwiler (2001). Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 157 (3), September, 413-429.

Ever since Friedman (1959), it has been debated whether the Treasury should sell bonds in a uniform or in a discriminatory auction. Empirical research on this topic has been confined to experiments in which both auctions were used. But these experiments inherently contain an identification problem, since differences cannot be attributed to the auction format alone. We develop a method for generating counterfactual data on discriminatory auctions, using real data from uniform-price Treasury bond auctions in Switzerland. Our method allows us to investigate the performance of the two auctions without relying on experiments and without the identification problem.