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Equilibrium Cost Overruns

Author

Listed:
  • Yongmin Chen

    (Department of Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder)

  • Ron Smith

    (Department of Economics, Birkbeck College, University of London)

Abstract

Cost overruns are endemic in military procurement projects and pervasive in other areas. This paper studies a model in which the apparent cost overruns arise not as systematic expectational errors but as equilibrium phenomena. The possibility of renegotiating payments when cost overruns occur results in firms bidding below their true estimate of expected project costs. This can cause the initial price for a project to be consistently lower than its expected cost, and hence the persistence of cost overruns in equilibrium. The tradeoff between selecting the lowest cost source and inducing efficient investment effort is explored.

Suggested Citation

  • Yongmin Chen & Ron Smith, 2001. "Equilibrium Cost Overruns," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 2(2), pages 401-414, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2001:v:2:i:2:p:401-414
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lichtenberg, Frank R., 1989. "How elastic is the government's demand for weapons?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 57-78, October.
    2. Rogerson, William P, 1990. "Quality vs. Quantity in Military Procurement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 83-92, March.
    3. William P. Rogerson, 1994. "Economic Incentives and the Defense Procurement Process," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 65-90, Fall.
    4. Rogerson, William P., 1995. "Incentive models of the defense procurement process," Handbook of Defense Economics,in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 309-346 Elsevier.
    5. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 1992. "Coordination in Split Award Auctions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 681-707.
    6. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Procurement and Renegotiation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 235-259, April.
    7. Lichtenberg, Frank R., 1995. "Economics of defense R&D," Handbook of Defense Economics,in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 431-457 Elsevier.
    8. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1986. "Bidding for Contracts: A Principal-Agent Analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 326-338, Autumn.
    9. Riordan, Michael H & Sappington, David E M, 1987. "Awarding Monopoly Franchises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 375-387, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Danau & Annalisa Vinella, 2016. "Sequential screening and the relationship between principal's preferences and agent's incentives," SERIES 01-2016, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza - Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro", revised Mar 2016.
    2. Daniel Danau & Annalisa Vinella, 2015. "Sequential screening with privately known characteristics of cost distribution," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201502, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cost overrun; Procurement; Cost sharing; Bidding;

    JEL classification:

    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

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