Favoritism in asymmetric procurement auctions
I examine the costs and benefits of granting a right of first refusal (ROFR) to one bidder in a first-price procurement auction with two bidders. This right permits the favored bidder to win a contract by matching the bid of the competing bidder and is often observed in procurement auctions. I show that the auctioneer prefers to grant the ROFR to the ex-ante weak bidder and that granting this right can increase the auctioneer's expected payoff. The results continue to hold even when the auctioneer can set an optimal reserve price. Both the reserve price and the right of first refusal serve to elicit more aggressive bids and hence, to a certain degree, are substitute tools.
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