Wild Bids. Gambling for Resurrection in Procurement Contracts
This paper analyses the problem of abnormally low tenders in the procurement process. Limited liability causes firms in a bad financial situation to bid more aggressively than financially healthy firms in the procurement auction. Therefore, it is likely that the winning firm is a firm in financial difficulties with a high risk of bankruptcy. The paper focuses on the regulatory practice of surety bonds to face this problem. We show that the use of surety bonds reduces and sometimes eliminates the problem of abnormally low tenders. We provide a characterization of the optimal surety bond and show that the U.S. practice of requiring that surety bonds cover over 100% of the contract price can be excessive, implying overinsurance to the problem of abnormally low tenders.
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- Juan J. Ganuza, 1998. "Competition and cost overruns. Optimal misspecification of procurement contracts," Economics Working Papers 471, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2002.
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