IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The impact of public information on bidding in highway procurement auctions

Listed author(s):
  • De Silva, Dakshina G.
  • Dunne, Timothy
  • Kankanamge, Anuruddha
  • Kosmopoulou, Georgia

A number of papers in the theoretical auction literature show that the release of information regarding the seller’s valuation of an item can cause bidders to bid more aggressively. This widely accepted result in auction theory remains largely untested in the empirical literature. Recent theoretical work has also shown that this effect can be more pronounced in auctions with larger common cost uncertainty. We examine the impact of a policy change by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation that led to the release of the state’s internal estimate of the costs to complete highway construction projects. We perform a differences-in-differences analysis comparing bidding in Texas, a state that had a uniform policy of revealing the same information all throughout the period of analysis, to bidding in Oklahoma. Our results show that, in comparison to Texas auctions, the average bid in Oklahoma fell after the change in engineers’ cost estimate (ECE) policy. This decline in bids was even larger for projects where the common uncertainty in costs is greater. Moreover, the within-auction standard deviation of bids fell after the change in ECE policy with the most significant decline observed again in projects with greater common cost uncertainty.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If 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.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014-2921(07)00106-7
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 52 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 150-181

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:52:y:2008:i:1:p:150-181
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as
in new window


  1. De Silva, Dakshina G. & Jeitschko, Thomas D. & Kosmopoulou, Georgia, 2005. "Stochastic synergies in sequential auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 183-201, April.
  2. Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Auction Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 779, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan & Harstad, Ronald M, 1995. "Comparative Static Effects of Number of Bidders and Public Information on Behavior in Second-Price Common Value Auctions," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 24(3), pages 293-319.
  4. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H. & Wilson, Charles A., 1990. "Auctions For Oil And Gas Leases With An Informed Bidder And A Random Reservation Price," Working Papers 90-47, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  5. Dakshina G. De Silva & Timothy Dunne & Georgia Kosmopoulou, 2003. "An Empirical Analysis of Entrant and Incumbent Bidding in Road Construction Auctions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 295-316, 09.
  6. Jeremy Bulow & Ming Huang & Paul Klemperer, 1996. "Toeholds and Takeovers," Finance 9608001, EconWPA.
  7. Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Martin Pesendorfer, 2003. "Estimation of a Dynamic Auction Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1443-1489, 09.
  8. Jacob K. Goeree & Theo Offerman, 1999. "Competitive Bidding in Auctions with Private and Common Values," Virginia Economics Online Papers 337, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  9. Patrick Bajari & Lixin Ye, 2001. "Deciding Between Competition and Collusion," Working Papers 01008, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  10. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Riley, John G., 1991. "Equilibria in open common value auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 101-130, February.
  11. Robert H. Porter, 1992. "The Role of Information in U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Auctions," Discussion Papers 1008, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Porter, Robert H & Zona, J Douglas, 1993. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 518-538, June.
  13. Levin, Jonathan & Athey, Susan, 2001. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Scholarly Articles 3612768, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Krishna, Vijay, 2002. "Auction Theory," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780124262973.
  15. Eklof, Matias & Lunander, Anders, 2003. "Open outcry auctions with secret reserve prices: an empirical application to executive auctions of tenant owner's apartments in Sweden," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 243-260, June.
  16. Mares, Vlad & Harstad, Ronald M., 2003. "Private information revelation in common-value auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 264-282, April.
  17. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
  18. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H, 1988. "An Empirical Study of an Auction with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 865-883, December.
  19. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
  20. Harstad, Ronald M, 1990. "Alternative Common-Value Auction Procedures: Revenue Comparisons with Free Entry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 421-429, April.
  21. Theo Offerman, 2002. "Efficiency in Auctions with Private and Common Values: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 625-643, June.
  22. Klemperer, Paul, 1998. "Auctions with almost common values: The 'Wallet Game' and its applications," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 757-769, May.
  23. Milgrom,Paul, 2004. "Putting Auction Theory to Work," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521551847, December.
  24. Boudreau, Bryan & Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H., 1986. "Information, Returns, and Bidding Behavior in OCS Auctions: 1954-1969," Working Papers 86-25, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  25. Rob Porter, 1999. "Empirical Implications of Equilibrium Bidding in First-Price, Symmetric, Common Value Auctions," Working papers 99-19, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  26. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  27. Koenker, Roger & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1982. "Robust Tests for Heteroscedasticity Based on Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 43-61, January.
  28. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2001. "Increasing Competition and the Winner's Curse: Evidence from Procurement," Economics Working Paper Archive 447, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  29. Vincent Daniel R., 1995. "Bidding Off the Wall: Why Reserve Prices May Be Kept Secret," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 575-584, April.
  30. Jofre-Bonet, Mireia & Pesendorfer, Martin, 2000. "Bidding behavior in a repeated procurement auction: A summary," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1006-1020, May.
  31. Kjell G. Nyborg & Kristian Rydqvist & Suresh M. Sundaresan, 2002. "Bidder Behavior in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from Swedish Treasury Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 394-424, April.
  32. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-599, June.
  33. Campbell, Colin M. & Levin, Dan, 2000. "Can the Seller Benefit from an Insider in Common-Value Auctions?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 106-120, March.
  34. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:52:y:2008:i:1:p:150-181. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.