IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v145y2017icp14-26.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Public procurement with unverifiable quality: The case for discriminatory competitive procedures

Author

Listed:
  • Albano, Gian Luigi
  • Cesi, Berardino
  • Iozzi, Alberto

Abstract

Unverifiable quality may affect the enforcement of procurement contracts even when the award procedure is able to select the most efficient firm in the market. In this paper, we show that a discriminatory competitive mechanism – which awards the contract on the basis of price and (firms') past performance – yields an efficient allocation of the contract and allows the buyer to implement her desired quality. Quality enforcement arises out of relational contracting whereby the buyer ‘handicaps' a contractor in future competitive tendering processes if it fails to provide the required quality. We study an infinitely repeated procurement model with two firms and one buyer imperfectly informed on the firms' cost, in which, in each period, the buyer runs a discriminatory auction. We restrict our analysis to the case of a buyer committed to her handicapping strategy, a case which captures some of the features of a public buyer. When players use either grim trigger or stick-and-carrot strategies, we find that the buyer can induce the delivery of optimal (unverifiable) quality with a variety of handicap levels and, when applicable, durations of the punishment period; for some values of the handicap and the length of the punishment period, both firms remain active in the market even when punished.

Suggested Citation

  • Albano, Gian Luigi & Cesi, Berardino & Iozzi, Alberto, 2017. "Public procurement with unverifiable quality: The case for discriminatory competitive procedures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 14-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:145:y:2017:i:c:p:14-26
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2016.11.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004727271630161X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84.
    2. Milgrom,Paul, 2004. "Putting Auction Theory to Work," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521536721, October.
    3. Arve, Malin, 2014. "Procurement and predation: Dynamic sourcing from financially constrained suppliers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 157-168.
    4. Jonathan Levin, 2003. "Relational Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
    5. Antonio Estache & Jose-Luis Guasch & Atsushi Iimi & Lourdes Trujillo, 2009. "Multidimensionality and Renegotiation: Evidence from Transport-Sector Public-Private-Partnership Transactions in Latin America," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 35(1), pages 41-71, September.
    6. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, January.
    7. Dalen, Dag Morten & Moen, Espen R. & Riis, Christian, 2006. "Contract renewal and incentives in public procurement," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 269-285, March.
    8. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2003. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 646-671, June.
    9. Luis Rayo, 2007. "Relational Incentives and Moral Hazard in Teams," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 937-963.
    10. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-480, March.
    11. Nicola Doni, 2006. "The Importance Of Reputation In Awarding Public Contracts," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 77(4), pages 401-429, December.
    12. Roberto Burguet & Yeon-Koo Che, 2004. "Competitive Procurement with Corruption," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 50-68, Spring.
    13. Yeon-Koo Che, 1993. "Design Competition through Multidimensional Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(4), pages 668-680, Winter.
    14. Cesi Berardino & Iozzi Alberto & Valentini Edilio, 2012. "Regulating Unverifiable Quality by Fixed-Price Contracts," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-39, September.
    15. Anke Kessler & Christoph Lülfesmann, 2004. "Bilateral bargaining, unverifiable quality, and options to return," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 23(2), pages 395-410, January.
    16. Fernando Branco, 1997. "The Design of Multidimensional Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(1), pages 63-81, Spring.
    17. Lalive, Rafael & Schmutzler, Armin, 2011. "Auctions vs Negotiations in Public Procurement: Which Works Better?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Søreide, Tina, 2017. "An economic analysis of debarment," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 36-49.
    19. Steven Tadelis, 2009. "Auctions Versus Negotiations in Procurement: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 372-399, October.
    20. Donald B. Hausch & Yeon-Koo Che, 1999. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 125-147, March.
    21. Bentley W. MacLeod, 2003. "Optimal Contracting with Subjective Evaluation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 216-240, March.
    22. Thomas Giebe & Paul Schweinzer, 2015. "Probabilistic procurement auctions," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 19(1), pages 25-46, March.
    23. John Asker & Estelle Cantillon, 2010. "Procurement when price and quality matter," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 1-34.
    24. Bigoni Maria & Spagnolo Giancarlo & Valbonesi Paola, 2014. "Sticks and Carrots in Procurement: An Experimental Exploration," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1-44, July.
    25. John Asker & Estelle Cantillon, 2008. "Properties of scoring auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 69-85.
    26. Branco, Fernando, 2002. "Procurement favouritism and technology adoption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 73-91, January.
    27. Wang, Ruqu, 2000. "Bidding and renegotiation in procurement auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1577-1597, August.
    28. Naegelen, Florence & Mougeot, Michel, 1998. "Discriminatory public procurement policy and cost reduction incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 349-367, March.
    29. Clive Bull, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-159.
    30. Elisabetta Iossa & Patrick Rey, 2014. "Building Reputation For Contract Renewal: Implications For Performance Dynamics And Contract Duration," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 549-574, June.
    31. Taylor, Curtis R, 1993. "Delivery-Contingent Contracts for Research," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 188-203, April.
    32. Manelli, Alejandro M & Vincent, Daniel R, 1995. "Optimal Procurement Mechanisms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 591-620, May.
    33. Makoto HANAZONO & Jun NAKABAYASHI & Masanori TSURUOKA, 2013. "Procurement Auctions with General Price-Quality Evaluation," KIER Working Papers 845, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    34. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-679.
    35. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796.
    36. Jin Li & Niko Matouschek, 2013. "Managing Conflicts in Relational Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2328-2351, October.
    37. Kevin J. Boudreau & Nicola Lacetera & Karim R. Lakhani, 2011. "Incentives and Problem Uncertainty in Innovation Contests: An Empirical Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(5), pages 843-863, May.
    38. Tunay I. Tunca & Stefanos A. Zenios, 2006. "Supply Auctions and Relational Contracts for Procurement," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 8(1), pages 43-67, February.
    39. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-641, August.
    40. Kim, In-Gyu, 1998. "A model of selective tendering: Does bidding competition deter opportunism by contractors?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 907-925.
    41. Tracy R. Lewis & David E.M. Sappington, 1991. "Incentives for Monitoring Quality," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 370-384, Autumn.
    42. Vagstad, Steinar, 1995. "Promoting fair competition in public procurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 283-307, October.
    43. Simon Board, 2011. "Relational Contracts and the Value of Loyalty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3349-3367, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gian Luigi Albano & Berardino Cesi & Alberto Iozzi, 2017. "Teaching an old dog a new trick: reserve price and unverifiable quality in repeated procurement," CEIS Research Paper 404, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 05 May 2017.
    2. Alessandro De Chiara, 2018. "Courts' Decisions, Cooperative Investments, and Incomplete Contracts," CEU Working Papers 2018_5, Department of Economics, Central European University.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:145:y:2017:i:c:p:14-26. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.