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Snow Removal Auctions in Montreal: Costs, Informational Rents, and Procurement Management

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  • Véronique Flambard
  • Pierre Lasserre

    ()

  • Pierre Mohnen

    ()

Abstract

Using nonparametric estimation techniques adapted from Guerre et al. [2000], we infer cost distributions and informational rents, from 666 snow removal contracts offered for tender by the City of Montreal. Our results are compatible with standard received theory of competitive auctions: there is a positive correlation between costs and bids; rents increase with the variance of costs and decrease with the number of bidders. Bids and costs have decreased over the sample period, while informational rents remained stable. The City deserves credit for these results. It has succeeded in exploiting economies of scale while maintaining competition; and it was instrumental in promoting above Canadian average technological progress by its design of snow-removal territories. Par des méthodes non paramétriques adaptées de Guerre et al. [2000], nous évaluons la distribution des coûts et les rentes informationnelles correspondant à 666 contrats de déneigement mis aux enchères par la Ville de Montréal. Les résultats sont conformes à la théorie des enchères concurrentielles : corrélation positive entre soumissions et coûts; rentes croissantes avec la variance des coûts et décroissantes avec le nombre d’enchérisseurs. Tant les soumissions que les coûts diminuent au cours de la période, tandis que les rentes sont stables. Ces résultats sont à mettre au crédit de la Ville : elle a su exploiter les économies d’échelle sans réduire la concurrence, et susciter un progrès technologique plus élevé que la moyenne nationale grâce au découpage des territoires.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2004s-59.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2004s-59

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Keywords: procurement auction; nonparametric estimation; informational rents; task design; municipal contracts; enchères d’approvisionnement; estimation non paramétrique; rentes d’information; conception des tâches; contrats municipaux;

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  1. Donald, Stephen G. & Paarsch, Harry J., 1996. "Identification, Estimation, and Testing in Parametric Empirical Models of Auctions within the Independent Private Values Paradigm," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 517-567, August.
  2. Laffont, J.J. & Vuong, Q., 1992. "Structural Econometrics Analysis of descending Auctions," Papers 9202, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  3. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1986. "Bidding for Contracts: A Principal-Agent Analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 326-338, Autumn.
  4. Powell, James L & Stock, James H & Stoker, Thomas M, 1989. "Semiparametric Estimation of Index Coefficients," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1403-30, November.
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  6. Guerre, E. & Perrigne, I. & Vuong, Q., 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Papers 9504, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Hardle, Wolfgang & Tsybakov, A. B., 1993. "How sensitive are average derivatives?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 31-48, July.
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  10. Bernard ELYAKIME & Jean-Jacques LAFFONT & Patrice LOISEL & Quang VUONG, 1994. "First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions with Secret Reservation Prices," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 34, pages 115-141.
  11. Florens, Jean-Pierre & Hugo, Marie-Anne & Richard, Jean-François, 1996. "Game Theory Econometric Models: Application to Procurements in the Space Industry," IDEI Working Papers 62, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  12. Paarsch, H.J., 1992. "A Comparison of estimators for Empirical Models of Auction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9210, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  13. Donald, Stephen G & Paarsch, Harry J, 1993. "Piecewise Pseudo-maximum Likelihood Estimation in Empirical Models of Auctions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 121-48, February.
  14. Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Martin Pesendorfer, 2001. "Estimation of a Dynamic Auction Game," NBER Working Papers 8626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
  16. Holt, Charles A, Jr, 1979. "Uncertainty and the Bidding for Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 697-705, September.
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