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Bidding for Incompete Contracts

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Author Info

  • Patrick Bajari

    (Duke University and NBER)

  • Stephanie Houghton

    (Duke University)

  • Steven Tadelis

    (Stanford University)

Abstract

When procurement contracts are incomplete, they are frequently changed after the contract is awarded to the lowest bidder. This results in a final cost that differs from the initial price, and may involve significant transaction costs due to renegotiation. We propose a stylized model of bidding for incomplete contracts and apply it to data from highway repair contracts. We estimate the magnitude of transaction costs and their impact using both reduced form and fully structural models. Our results suggest that transactions costs are a significant and important determinant of observed bids, and that bidders strategically respond to contractual incompleteness. Our findings point at disadvantages of the traditional bidding process that are a consequence of transaction costs from contract adaptations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2004.141.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.141

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Keywords: Procurement; Construction;

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References

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  1. Rob Porter, 1999. "Empirical Implications of Equilibrium Bidding in First-Price, Symmetric, Common Value Auctions," Working papers 99-19, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Patrick Bajari & Steven Tadelis, 1999. "Incentives versus Transaction Costs: A Theory of Procurement Contracts," Working Papers 99029, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  3. Elyakime, Bernard & Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Loisel, Patrice & Vuong, Quang, 1993. "First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions with Secret Reservation Prices," IDEI Working Papers 27, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Patrick Bajari & Lixin Ye, 2003. "Deciding Between Competition and Collusion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 971-989, November.
  5. Ariel Pakes, 2003. "Common Sense and Simplicity in Empirical Industrial Organization," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3_4), pages 193-215, December.
  6. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2003. "Are Structural Estimates of Auction Models Reasonable? Evidence from Experimental Data," Working Papers 03002, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  7. Milgrom, Paul R., 1987. "employment contracts, influence activities and efficient organization design," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6pf6c5j6, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin, 1999. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Working papers 99-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Cantillon, Estelle & Pesendorfer, Martin, 2007. "Combination Bidding in Multi-Unit Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6083, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Martin Pesendorfer, 2003. "Estimation of a Dynamic Auction Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1443-1489, 09.
  11. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2001. "Increasing Competition and the Winner's Curse: Evidence from Procurement," Economics Working Paper Archive 447, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  12. Sandra Campo & Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2003. "Semiparametric Estimation of First-price Auctions with Risk Averse Bidders," Working Papers 2003-09, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  13. 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.
  14. Kenneth S. Corts, 2004. "The Effect of Repeated Interaction on Contract Choice: Evidence from Offshore Drilling," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 230-260, April.
  15. Steven Tadelis, 2009. "Auctions Versus Negotiations in Procurement: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 372-399, October.
  16. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
  17. Masten, Scott E, 1984. "The Organization of Production: Evidence from the Aerospace Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 403-17, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Susan Athey & Philip A. Haile, 2006. "Empirical Models of Auctions," NBER Working Papers 12126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Athias, Laure & Saussier, Stéphane, 2007. "Contractual flexibility or rigidity for public private partnerships? Theory and evidence from infrastructure concession contracts," MPRA Paper 10541, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00512813 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Gregory Lewis & Patrick Bajari, 2011. "Moral Hazard, Incentive Contracts and Risk: Evidence from Procurement," NBER Working Papers 17647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. repec:ste:nystbu:06-22 is not listed on IDEAS

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