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Optimal Procurement When Both Price and Quality Matter

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  • Asker, John
  • Cantillon, Estelle

Abstract

A buyer seeks to procure a good characterized by its price and its quality from suppliers who have private information about their cost structure (fixed cost + marginal cost of providing quality). We solve for the optimal buying mechanism, i.e. the procedure that maximizes the buyer’s expected utility, and discuss its properties. Many of the properties of the optimal buying mechanism when information is one-dimensional (Laffont and Tirole, 1987; Che, 1993) no longer hold when we introduce private information about the fixed costs. We compare the performance of the optimal scheme to that of buying procedures used in practice, namely a quasilinear scoring auction and negotiation. Specifically, we characterize an upper bound to what a quasilinear scoring auction and negotiation can achieve, and compare the performance of these procedures numerically. Quasilinear scoring auctions are able to extract a good proportion of the surplus from being strategic. Negotiation does less well. In fact, our results suggest that negotiation does worse than holding a simple scoring auction where the buyer reveals his preference.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5276.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5276

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Related research

Keywords: bargaining; differentiated product; multi-attribute auction; multidimensional screening; negotiation; optimal auction; procurement; scoring auction;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ciaccia, Gervasio & Doni, Nicola & Fontini, Fulvio, 2010. "Auctioning wind power sites when environmental quality matters," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1734-1740, April.
  2. John Asker & Estelle Cantillon, 2010. "Procurement when price and quality matter," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 1-34.
  3. Susan Athey & Philip A. Haile, 2006. "Empirical Models of Auctions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1562, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Pierangelo Mori, 2008. "Design of Multidimensional Franchise Auctions by an Ignorant Principal," Working Papers - Economics wp2008_13.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.

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