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Cost overrun and auction format in small size public works

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  • Bucciol, Alessandro
  • Chillemi, Ottorino
  • Palazzi, Giacomo

Abstract

We study the effect on cost overruns of two different auction formats, the first price sealed bid and the average bid, conditional on whether entry is open or restricted. The first price format awards the contract to the lowest bid, while the average bid format awards the contract to the bid closest to the average of all the bids. This latter format is supposed to prevent an unreliable low bidder from winning the auction; as a consequence cost overruns should be lower under the average bid than under the first price format. We test this hypothesis with a panel data set of auctions held in the Italian Veneto region between 2004 and 2006, including small size public projects in sectors such as road works and building maintenance. We find that cost overruns are lower under the average bid format, but only when the entry is restricted. We then speculate on possible explanations for this result.

Suggested Citation

  • Bucciol, Alessandro & Chillemi, Ottorino & Palazzi, Giacomo, 2013. "Cost overrun and auction format in small size public works," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 35-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:30:y:2013:i:c:p:35-42
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2013.01.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Bent Flyvbjerg & Mette K. Skamris holm & Søren L. Buhl, 2003. "How common and how large are cost overruns in transport infrastructure projects?," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(1), pages 71-88, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Galavotti & Luigi Moretti & Paola Valbonesi, 2018. "Sophisticated Bidders in Beauty-Contest Auctions," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 1-26, November.
    2. Miranda Sarmento, J.J., 2014. "Public private partnerships," Other publications TiSEM c7d4c978-234c-4f88-83ed-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Decio Coviello & Luigi Moretti & Giancarlo Spagnolo & Paola Valbonesi, 2018. "Court Efficiency and Procurement Performance," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 120(3), pages 826-858, July.
    4. Olga Chiappinelli, 2017. "Decentralization and Public Procurement Performance: New Evidence from Italy," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1704, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Chiara D’Alpaos & Michele Moretto & Paola Valbonesi & Sergio Vergalli, 2013. "Time overruns as opportunistic behavior in public procurement," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 25-43, September.
    6. Baldi, Simona & Bottasso, Anna & Conti, Maurizio & Piccardo, Chiara, 2016. "To bid or not to bid: That is the question: Public procurement, project complexity and corruption," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 89-106.
    7. Giuseppe Gori & Patrizia Lattarulo & Marco Mariani, 2014. "The effect of Regional Law 35/2011 on strategic public works," Studi e approfondimenti 521, Istituto Regionale per la Programmazione Economica della Toscana.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cost overrun; Average bid; First price; Open entry;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement

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