Seminar: Treasury Bill Auctions: Theory and Empirics (F) - cancelled

Course content

Understanding treasury bill auctions is of vital importance to governments, central banks and financial agents alike. This seminar will introduce the basic theoretical auction models as well as the empirical methods used to analyze this type of auctions. The students will then work independently or in groups of up to two and produce a numerical or empirical project, based on the issues studied. For this, students will be given access to a unique database and a Matlab code used to extract valuations from bids.


MSc programme in Economics

The seminar is primarily for students at the MSc of Economics

The course is a part of the financial line, signified by (F)

Learning outcome

Understand the basic theory underlying the study of treasury bill auctions. Be able to use this theory together with relevant empirical methods to study real auction data.

Planning/start-up meeting, research and writing process of the seminar paper, sessions with presentation of own paper and critical evaluation/feedback to another student´s paper, actively participating in discussions at class.

Before the session a "so-finalized-as-possible"-draft of the paper must be uploaded in Absalon. After the presentations, the student submit an edited version of the paper in the Digital Exam portal as the final exam paper. The aim is that students use the presentation sessions as an opportunity to receive and use the constructive feedback to improve the paper.

The seminar will start with a session in which the above literature list will be discussed. After this, students will begin work with their own paper, which will be supervised by the teachers and peers. Throughout the initial session in which the literature is discussed, potential seminar topics will be discussed.

By the end of September, each participant must have a clear topic, presented in a commitment paper: we will meet to discuss those. Early November we meet to discuss the main findings of each paper.

  • Hortaçsu, A., and D. McAdams. "Mechanism choice and strategic bidding in divisible good auctions: An empirical analysis of the turkish treasury auction market", 2010, Journal of Political Economy, 118(5), 833-865

  • Hortacsu A. and J. Kastl, “Valuing dealers' informational advantage: A study of Canadian Treasury auctions", 2012, Econometrica, 80(6), 2511-2542

  • Kastl, Jakub. "Discrete bids and empirical inference in divisible good auctions." The Review of Economic Studies 78.3 (2011): 974-1014.

  • Wilson R., “Auctions of Shares”, 1979, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 93, 675-689

The qualifications is BA and all students at the master can participate, but it is expected that students have a prior course in financial markets or international finance, or that a relevant textbook is consumed.


• Planning meeting: 5 September 2017. 13-15
• Progress meetings: 8 September 2017 10-12
• Deadline commitmentpaper: not later than 1st of October.
• Deadline of pre-paper uploaded to Absalon : a week before the workshop
• Workshop of oral presentations: 20 November 2017 13-15

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
- a seminar paper in English that meets the formal requirements for written papers stated in the curriculum and at KUNet for seminars.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

The student must in a satisfactory way demonstrate that he/she has mastered the learning outcome of the course and the objectives stated in the Curriculum.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 6
  • Project work
  • 200
  • English
  • 206