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Split-award procurement auctions with uncertain scale economies: Theory and data

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  • Anton, James J.
  • Brusco, Sandro
  • Lopomo, Giuseppe

Abstract

In a number of observed procurements, the buyer has employed an auction format that allows for a split-award outcome. We focus on settings where the range of uncertainty regarding scale economies is large and, depending on cost realizations, the efficient allocations include split-award outcomes as well as sole-source outcomes (one active supplier). We examine the price performance and efficiency properties of split-award auctions under asymmetric information. In equilibrium, both award outcomes can occur: the split-award outcome arises only when it minimizes total costs; sole-source outcomes, however, occur too often from an efficiency viewpoint. Equilibrium bids involve pooling at a common price for the split award, and separation for sole-source awards. We provide conditions under which the buyer and suppliers all benefit from a split-award format relative to a winner-take-all unit auction format. Model predictions are assessed with data on submitted 'step-ladder' bid prices for a U.S. defense split-award procurement.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 24-41

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:69:y:2010:i:1:p:24-41

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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Cited by:
  1. Gong, Jiong & Li, Jianpei & McAfee, R. Preston, 2012. "Split-award contracts with investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 188-197.
  2. Alcalde, José & Dahm, Matthias, 2013. "Competition for procurement shares," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 193-208.
  3. Alejandro Francetich, 2013. "Becoming the Neighbor Bidder: Endogenous Winner’s Curse in Dynamic Mechanisms," Working Papers 501, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.

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