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.
Behavior in the first three years of auctions for Pakistani treasury bills is studied. Bidding strategies rapidly converged to a consistent pattern after the auctions started in 1991. Factors are identified that influenced the expected profitability of auction participation, which was on average low and did not differ between types of bidders. Prices bid are found to reflected both ‘buy and sell’ and ‘buy and hold’ strategies, and were affected by risk considerations and bidder-specific variables. The Pakistani experience suggests the robustness of auctions as a market-based allocation mechanism, and their value in public debt management.