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Asymmetry in Procurement Auctions: Evidence from Snow Removal Contracts


  • Véronique Flambard
  • Isabelle Perrigne


Differences in cost efficiency and productivity across firms may introduce asymmetries in procurement auctions. Relying on a structural approach, this article investigates potential asymmetry among firms bidding for snow removal contracts in Montréal. The empirical results show that firms located in close proximity have a cost advantage relative to other firms in the most urbanised part of Montréal because of prohibitive equipment storage costs. The extent of inefficiency due to asymmetry is empirically assessed. Various policy experiments are performed. A bidding preference policy shows that the city could expect to reduce its costs for allocating snow removal contracts. Copyright 2006 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Véronique Flambard & Isabelle Perrigne, 2006. "Asymmetry in Procurement Auctions: Evidence from Snow Removal Contracts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 1014-1036, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:116:y:2006:i:514:p:1014-1036

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    1. repec:spr:annopr:v:258:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10479-016-2164-x is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Véronique Flambard & Pierre Lasserre & Pierre Mohnen, 2007. "Snow removal auctions in Montreal: costs, informational rents, and procurement management," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(1), pages 245-277, February.
    3. Jihui Chen & Maochao Xu, 2015. "Asymmetry and revenue in second-price auctions: a majorization approach," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 39(3), pages 625-640, July.
    4. M. Iftekhar & A. Hailu & R. Lindner, 2012. "The Effect of Bidder Heterogeneity on Combinatorial Conservation Auction Designs," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(1), pages 137-157, September.
    5. Alcalde, José & Dahm, Matthias, 2013. "Competition for procurement shares," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 193-208.
    6. Lamy, Laurent, 2012. "The econometrics of auctions with asymmetric anonymous bidders," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 167(1), pages 113-132.
    7. repec:bla:jomstd:v:54:y:2017:i:6:p:823-853 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Hill, Jonathan B. & Shneyerov, Artyom, 2013. "Are there common values in first-price auctions? A tail-index nonparametric test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 174(2), pages 144-164.
    9. Hickman Brent R. & Hubbard Timothy P. & Sağlam Yiğit, 2012. "Structural Econometric Methods in Auctions: A Guide to the Literature," Journal of Econometric Methods, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 67-106, August.
    10. Florencia M. Gabrielli, 2013. "Detecting Collusion on Highway Procurement," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 59, pages 127-165, January-D.
    11. Marion, Justin, 2007. "Are bid preferences benign? The effect of small business subsidies in highway procurement auctions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1591-1624, August.
    12. Hubbard, Timothy P. & Paarsch, Harry J., 2009. "Investigating bid preferences at low-price, sealed-bid auctions with endogenous participation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-14, January.
    13. Shneyerov, Artyom & Wong, Adam Chi Leung, 2011. "Identification in first-price and Dutch auctions when the number of potential bidders is unobservable," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 574-582, June.
    14. Brasil, Eric Universo Rodrigues & Postali, Fernando Antonio Slaibe, 2014. "Informational rents in oil and gas concession auctions in Brazil," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 93-101.
    15. Aryal, Gaurab & Gabrielli, Maria F., 2013. "Testing for collusion in asymmetric first-price auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 26-35.
    16. De Silva, Dakshina G. & Hubbard, Timothy P. & Kosmopoulou, Georgia, 2013. "Efficacy of a Bidder Training Program: Lessons from LINC," MPRA Paper 51329, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Timothy P. Hubbard & Rene Kirkegaard, 2015. "Asymmetric Auctions with More Than Two Bidders," Working Papers 1502, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    18. Mares, Vlad & Swinkels, Jeroen M., 2014. "On the analysis of asymmetric first price auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 1-40.
    19. Quang Vuong & Ayse Pehlivan, 2015. "Supply Function Competition and Exporters: Nonparametric Identification and Estimation of Productivity Distributions and Marginal Costs," 2015 Meeting Papers 1414, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    20. repec:the:publsh:1824 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Ma, Jun & Marmer, Vadim & Shneyerov, Artyom, 2016. "Inference for First-Price Auctions with Guerre, Perrigne, and Vuong's estimator," working papers vadim_marmer-2016-4, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 04 Mar 2016.

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