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Do Combinatorial Procurement Auctions Lower Cost? - An Empirical Analysis of Public Procurement of Multiple Contracts

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  • Lunander, Anders

    ()
    (Swedish Business School)

  • Lundberg, Sofia

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

Abstract

Combinatorial procurement auctions are desirable as they enable bidding firms to pass their potential cost synergies on to the procuring entity and may lead to a reduction in cost for the procuring entity and enhancing efficiency. However, an assessment of the benefits of the combinatorial mechanism, based on the observed package discounts, is likely to overstate the true cost savings generated by the mechanism. The option for a firm to submit bids on bundles of contracts gives rise to a strategic effect because a firm’s stand-alone bids compete with its package bids. Therefore, bidders might find it profitable to inflate their stand-alone bids in order to favour their package bids. Using data from first-price procurement auctions of single and multiple contracts, with and without the option to submit package bids, we find that firms inflate their stand alone bids in the combinatorial auctions compared to their corresponding bids in standard first-price procurement auctions. Further, the analysis does not show significant differences in the procurer’s cost by type of auction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Umeå University, Department of Economics in its series Umeå Economic Studies with number 776.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 13 Aug 2009
Date of revision: 16 Sep 2009
Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0776

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Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
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Keywords: Combinatorial procurement auctions; Contract bidding;

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  1. Krishna, V. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1995. "Simultaneous Auctions with Synergies," Papers 04-95-06, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  2. ALBANO, Gian Luigi & GERMANO, Fabrizio & LOVO, Stefano, 1999. "A comparison of standard multi-unit auctions with synergies," CORE Discussion Papers 1999052, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Anthony M. Kwasnica & John O. Ledyard & Dave Porter & Christine DeMartini, 2005. "A New and Improved Design for Multiobject Iterative Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(3), pages 419-434, March.
  4. Holzman, Ron & Monderer, Dov, 2004. "Characterization of ex post equilibrium in the VCG combinatorial auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 87-103, April.
  5. Anders Lunander & Jan-Eric Nilsson, 2004. "Taking the Lab to the Field: Experimental Tests of Alternative Mechanisms to Procure Multiple Contracts," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 39-58, January.
  6. Peter Cramton & Yoav Shoham & Richard Steinberg, 2004. "Combinatorial Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 04mit, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2004.
  7. Frank Kelly & Richard Steinberg, 2000. "A Combinatorial Auction with Multiple Winners for Universal Service," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 586-596, April.
  8. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John & Whinston, Michael D, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-83, May.
  9. Srabana Gupta, 2002. "Competition and collusion in a government procurement auction market," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 30(1), pages 13-25, March.
  10. Estelle Cantillon & Martin Pesendorfer, 2006. "Auctioning bus routes: the London experience," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9003, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Ledyard, John O. & Porter, David P., . "Allocating Uncertain and Unresponsive Resources," Working Papers 680, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  12. Babaioff, Moshe & Feldman, Michal & Nisan, Noam & Winter, Eyal, 2012. "Combinatorial agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 999-1034.
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Cited by:
  1. Hultkrantz, Lars & Lunander, Anders, 2013. "Design of a Combinatorial Bidding Market for Green Corridor Freight," Working Papers 2013:6, Örebro University, School of Business.

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