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Optimal procurement mechanisms: bidding on price and damages for breach

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  • Ottorino Chillemi
  • Claudio Mezzetti

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Abstract

We study the optimal procurement mechanism when contract breach and abandoning a project may be efficient, either because of completion costs higher than anticipated or because of new and more lucrative opportunities for the contractor. When contractors have private information about their costs, the procurer finds it optimal to set damages above expectation damages. There is a lock-in effect, or status quo bias; the agent that has won the award will complete the project even in situations when it would be efficient to abandon it. If the cost types of all agents are above a threshold, the optimal bidding procedure assigns the project by lottery. The optimal mechanism cannot be implemented by standard auction formats. However, the larger the number of agents bidding for the project, the closer auctions with a liquidated damage clause approximate the optimal mechanism. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Ottorino Chillemi & Claudio Mezzetti, 2014. "Optimal procurement mechanisms: bidding on price and damages for breach," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(2), pages 335-355, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:55:y:2014:i:2:p:335-355
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-013-0751-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francesco Decarolis, 2009. "When the highest bidder loses the auction: theory and evidence from public procurement," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 717, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lorentziadis, Panos L., 2016. "Optimal bidding in auctions from a game theory perspective," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(2), pages 347-371.
    2. Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 2017. "Cost Uncertainty and Time Overruns in Public Procurement: a Scoring Auction for a Contract with Delay Penalties," Working Papers 2017.02, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. repec:eee:ejores:v:267:y:2018:i:1:p:368-380 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Lorentziadis, Panos L., 2014. "Bidding under auctioneer default risk," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 123-133.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Procurement; Principal-agent; Contract breach; Liquidated damages; D44; D82; H57; L51;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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