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The CMS Auction: Experimental Studies of a Median-Bid Procurement Auction with Nonbinding Bids

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  • Brian Merlob
  • Charles R. Plott
  • Yuanjun Zhang

Abstract

We report on the experimental results of simple auctions with (i) a median-bid pricing rule and (ii) nonbinding bids (winning bids can be withdrawn)--the two central pillars of the competitive bidding program designed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Comparisons between the performance of the CMS auction and the performance of the excluded-bid auction reveal the problematic nature of the CMS auction. The CMS auction fails to generate competitive prices of goods and fails to satisfy demand. In all proposed efficiency measures, we find the excluded-bid auction significantly outperforms the CMS auction. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian Merlob & Charles R. Plott & Yuanjun Zhang, 2012. "The CMS Auction: Experimental Studies of a Median-Bid Procurement Auction with Nonbinding Bids," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 793-827.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:127:y:2012:i:2:p:793-827
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John Kautter & Gregory Pope, 2014. "Competitive bidding for Medicare Part B clinical laboratory services," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 95-108, June.
    2. Peter Cramton & Sean Ellermeyer & Brett Katzman, 2015. "Designed To Fail: The Medicare Auction For Durable Medical Equipment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 469-485, January.
    3. Anthony M. Kwasnica & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2013. "Multiunit Auctions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 461-490, July.
    4. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9510-y is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Camerer, Colin & Dreber, Anna & Forsell, Eskil & Ho, Teck-Hua & Huber, Jurgen & Johannesson, Magnus & Kirchler, Michael & Almenberg, Johan & Altmejd, Adam & Chan, Taizan & Heikensten, Emma & Holzmeist, 2016. "Evaluating replicability of laboratory experiments in Economics," MPRA Paper 75461, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Andrew Stocking & James Baumgardner & Melinda Buntin & Anna Cook, 2014. "Assessing the Design of the Low-Income Subsidy Program in Medicare Part D: Working Paper 2014-07," Working Papers 49451, Congressional Budget Office.

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