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Testing for Collusion in Asymmetric First-Price Auctions

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  • Gaurab Aryal

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  • Maria F. Gabrielli

Abstract

This paper proposes fully nonparametric tests to detect possible collusion in first-price procurement (auctions). The aim of the tests is to detect possible collusion before knowing whether or not bidders are colluding. Thus we do not rely on data on anti-competitive hearing, and in that sense is ’ex-ante’. We propose a two steps (model selection) procedure: First, we use a reduced form test of independence and symmetry to shortlist bidders whose bidding behavior is at-odds with competitive bidding, and Second, the recovered (latent) cost for these bidders must be higher under collusion than under competition, because collusion dwarfs competition, hence detecting collusion boils down to testing if the estimated cost distribution under collusion first order stochastically dominates that under competition. We propose rank based and Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) tests. We implement the tests for Highway Procurement data in California and conclude that there is no evidence of collusion even though the reduced form test supports collusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaurab Aryal & Maria F. Gabrielli, 2011. "Testing for Collusion in Asymmetric First-Price Auctions," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2011-564, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2011-564
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    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/econ/wp564.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nianqing Liu & Yao Luo, 2014. "A Nonparametric Test of Exogenous Participation in First-Price Auctions," Working Papers tecipa-519, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    2. Aryal, Gaurab & Gabrielli, Maria F., 2012. "Is Collusion Proof Auction Expensive? Estimates from Highway Procurements," MPRA Paper 57353, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Feb 2014.
    3. Imhof, David, 2017. "Econometric tests to detect bid-rigging cartels: does it work?," FSES Working Papers 483, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    4. Gaurab Aryal & Maria F. Gabrielli, 2015. "Is Collusion-Proof Procurement Expensive?," Papers 1508.05353, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2015.
    5. Florencia Gabrielli, 2014. "Econometrics of First Price Auctions: a Survey of the Theoretical and Applied Literature," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, pages 77-118.
    6. Florencia M. Gabrielli, 2013. "Detecting Collusion on Highway Procurement," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, pages 127-165.
    7. Imhof, David & Karagök, Yavuz & Rutz, Samuel, 2016. "Screening for bid-rigging - does it work?," FSES Working Papers 468, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    8. Bedri Kamil Onur Tas, 2017. "Collusion Detection in Public Procurement with Limited Information," Working Papers 1127, Economic Research Forum, revised 08 Oct 2017.
    9. Kaplan, Uma & Marmer, Vadim & Shneyerov, Artyom, 2016. "Identifying Collusion in English Auctions," Microeconomics.ca working papers vadim_marmer-2016-3, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 08 Jul 2017.
    10. Riccardo Camboni Marchi Adani & Paola Valbonesi, 2016. "Favouritism in scoring rule auctions," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0210, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    11. David Imhof & YAVUZ KARAGÖK & SAMUEL RUTZ, 2017. "Screening for Bid-rigging – Does it Work?," Working Papers 2017-09, CRESE.
    12. Imhof, David, 2017. "Simple Statistical Screens to Detect Bid Rigging," FSES Working Papers 484, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • C4 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

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