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Collusive market-sharing and corruption in procurement

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Author Info

  • Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris)

  • Konstantin Sonin

    (NES - New Economic School - NES, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, CEFIR - Center for Economic and Financial Research - CEFIR)

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates links between corruption and collusion in procurement. A first-price multiple-object auction is administered by an agent who has legal discretion to allow for a readjustment of (all) submitted offers before the official opening. The agent may be corrupt, i.e. willing to "sell" his decision in exchange for a bribe. Our main result shows that the corrupt agent's incentives to extract rents are closely linked with that of a cartel of bidders. First, collusive bidding conveys value to the agent's decision power. Second, self-interested abuse of discretion to extract rents (corruption) provides a mechanism to enforce collusion. A second result is that package bidding can facilitate collusion. We also find that with corruption, collusion is more likely in auctions where firms are small relative to the market. Our main message to auction designers, competition authorities and criminal courts is that risks of collusion and of corruption must be addressed simultaneously. Some other policy implications for the design of tender procedures are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00590773.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00590773

    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00590773
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    Related research

    Keywords: auction ; corruption ; collusion;

    References

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    1. Sandro Brusco & Giuseppe Lopomo, 2004. "Collusion via Signalling in Simultaneous Ascending Bid Auctions with Heterogeneous Objects, with and without Complementarities," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000385, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. Babaioff, Moshe & Feldman, Michal & Nisan, Noam & Winter, Eyal, 2012. "Combinatorial agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 999-1034.
    3. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
    4. Graham, Daniel A & Marshall, Robert C, 1987. "Collusive Bidder Behavior at Single-Object Second-Price and English Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1217-39, December.
    5. O. Compte & A. Lambert-Mogiliansky & T. Verdier, 2005. "Corruption and Competition in Procurement Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 1-15, Spring.
    6. John O. Ledyard & David Porter & Antonio Rangel, 1997. "Experiments Testing Multiobject Allocation Mechanisms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 639-675, 09.
    7. Ausubel Lawrence M & Milgrom Paul R, 2002. "Ascending Auctions with Package Bidding," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-44, August.
    8. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1992. "Bidding Rings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 579-99, June.
      • McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990. "Bidding Rings," Working Papers 726, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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