This paper is not directed to the question of whether the Treasury should or should not practice in the public sector what the Clayton Act prohibits in the private sector. The paper is concerned exclusively with the theoretical question of whether the Treasury would necessarily receive higher prices by employing price discrimination than it could get by selling the issues at a single price. From a theory of bidding under uncertainty, which seems to apply naturally to the Treasury auction, it will be shown that buyers may be expected to enter lower bids under price discrimination than they would for a simulated competitive auction. If this analysis is accepted, it suggests that the Treasury may actually get less revenue from a given bill offering under price discrimination than under a competitive auction.
Smith, Vernon L. “Bidding Theory and the Treasury Bill Auction: Does Price Discrimination Increase Bill Prices?” Review of Economics and Statistics, 48.2 (1966): 141-146
This article was originally published in Review of Economics and Statistics, volume 48, issue 2, in 1966.