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Testing for Collusion in Asymmetric First-Price Auctions

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  • Gaurab Aryal

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  • Maria F. Gabrielli

Abstract

This paper proposes fully nonparametric tests to detect possible collusion in first-price procurement (auctions). The aim of the tests is to detect possible collusion before knowing whether or not bidders are colluding. Thus we do not rely on data on anti-competitive hearing, and in that sense is ’ex-ante’. We propose a two steps (model selection) procedure: First, we use a reduced form test of independence and symmetry to shortlist bidders whose bidding behavior is at-odds with competitive bidding, and Second, the recovered (latent) cost for these bidders must be higher under collusion than under competition, because collusion dwarfs competition, hence detecting collusion boils down to testing if the estimated cost distribution under collusion first order stochastically dominates that under competition. We propose rank based and Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) tests. We implement the tests for Highway Procurement data in California and conclude that there is no evidence of collusion even though the reduced form test supports collusion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics in its series ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics with number 2011-564.

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Length: 33 Pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2011-564

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  1. Pesendorfer, Martin, 2000. "A Study of Collusion in First-Price Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 381-411, July.
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  8. Véronique Flambard & Isabelle Perrigne, 2006. "Asymmetry in Procurement Auctions: Evidence from Snow Removal Contracts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 1014-1036, October.
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  22. Marshall Robert C. & Meurer Michael J. & Richard Jean-Francois & Stromquist Walter, 1994. "Numerical Analysis of Asymmetric First Price Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 193-220, September.
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  24. Reiczigel, Jeno & Zakarias, Ildiko & Rozsa, Lajos, 2005. "A Bootstrap Test of Stochastic Equality of Two Populations," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 59, pages 156-161, May.
  25. Porter, Robert H & Zona, J Douglas, 1993. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 518-38, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Florencia M. Gabrielli, 2013. "Detecting Collusion on Highway Procurement," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 59, pages 127-165, January-D.

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