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Efficiency versus Optimality in Procurement

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  • Peter Postl

Abstract

We study procurement procedures that simultaneously determine specification and price of a good. Suppliers can offer and produce the good in either of two possible specifications, both of which are equally good for the buyer. Production costs are interdependent and unknown at the time of bidding. Each supplier receives two signals about production cost, one per specification. Our model is a special case of the interdependent-value settings with multi-dimensional types in Jehiel and Moldovanu (2001) where an efficient and incentive compatible mechanism exists. We characterize equilibrium bidding behavior if the winning supplier is selected purely on the basis of price, regardless of the specification offered. While there is a positive chance of obtaining an inefficient specification, this procurement mechanism involves lower information rents than efficient mechanisms, suggesting that there is a trade-off between minimizing expected expenditure for the good, and ensuring that the efficient specification is chosen.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Postl, 2011. "Efficiency versus Optimality in Procurement," Discussion Papers 11-03rr, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:11-03rr
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Procurement; interdependent valuations; multi-dimensional information; efficient mechanisms; optimal mechanisms;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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