The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
A major effort is taking place in many parts of the world to establish market-oriented institutions, a development that is particularly evident in the context of the transforming economies in Eastern Europe and the republics of the former Soviet Union. Against this background, this paper assesses various auction techniques to price and allocate government securities, refinance credit, foreign exchange, and state assets in the context of privatization programs. Before making our recommendations on the appropriate format for auctioning these items, the paper explains basic auction formats and assesses the advantages and disadvantages of these formats drawing on the existing, and mostly theoretical, literature.