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Procurement when price and quality matter

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Listed:
  • John Asker
  • Estelle Cantillon

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 and marginal cost of providing quality). We characterize the buyer's optimal buying mechanism. We then use the optimal mechanism as a theoretical and numerical benchmark to study simpler buying procedures such as scoring auctions and bargaining. Scoring auctions can extract a significant proportion of the buyer's strategic surplus (the difference between the expected utility from the optimal mechanism and the efficient auction). Bargaining does less well and often does worse than the efficient auction. Copyright (c) 2010, RAND.

Suggested Citation

  • John Asker & Estelle Cantillon, 2010. "Procurement when price and quality matter," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 1-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:41:y:2010:i:1:p:1-34
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Armstrong, Mark, 1996. "Multiproduct Nonlinear Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 51-75, January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures

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