Contracting for Infrastructure Projects as Credence Goods
AbstractLarge infrastructure projects are a major responsibility of government, who usually lacks expertise to fully specify the demanded projects. Contractors, typically experts on such projects, advise of the needed design in their bids. Producing the right design is nevertheless costly. We model the contracting for such infrastructure projects taking into account this credence goods feature and examine the performance of commonly used contracting methods. We show that when building costs are public information, multistage competitive bidding involving shortlisting of two contractors and contingent compensation of both contractors on design efforts outperforms sequential search and the traditional Design-and-Build approach. While the latter leads to minimum design effort, sequential search suffers from a commitment problem. If building costs are the private information of the contractors and are revealed to them after design cost is sunk, competitive bidding may involve sampling more than two contractors. The commitment problem under sequential search may be overcome by the procurer's incentive to search for low building cost if the design cost is sufficiently low. If this is the case, sequential search may outperform competitive bidding.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Centre for Econometric Research in its series NCER Working Paper Series with number 73.
Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 05 Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Credence Goods; Design-Build; Competitive Bidding; Sequential Search; Infrastructure Projects;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Auctions
- R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-10-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-CTA-2011-10-15 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-PPM-2011-10-15 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Winand Emons, 1994.
"Credence Goods and Fraudulent Experts,"
dp9402, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
- Pitchik, Carolyn & Schotter, Andrew, 1987. "Honesty in a Model of Strategic Information Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1032-36, December.
- Fan, Cuihong & Wolfstetter, Elmar G., 2006.
"Procurement with Costly Bidding, Optimal Shortlisting, and Rebates,"
Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems
166, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
- Fan, Cuihong & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2008. "Procurement with costly bidding, optimal shortlisting, and rebates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 327-334, March.
- Uwe Dulleck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2011. "The Economics of Credence Goods: An Experiment on the Role of Liability, Verifiability, Reputation, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 526-55, April.
- Vagstad, Steinar, 1995. "Promoting fair competition in public procurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 283-307, October.
- Ingela Alger & Francois Salanie, 2001. "A Theory of Fraud and Over-Consumption in Experts Markets," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 495, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 09 Nov 2004.
- McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
- Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, January.
- Kaplan, Todd & Sela, Aner, 2003. "Auctions with Private Entry Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 4080, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (School of Economics and Finance) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask School of Economics and Finance to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.