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Bid Rigging – An Analysis of Corruption in Auctions

Author

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  • Yvan Lengwiler
  • Elmar G. Wolfstetter

Abstract

In many auctions, the auctioneer is an agent of the seller. This invites corruption. We propose a model of corruption in which the auctioneer orchestrates bid rigging by inviting a bidder to either lower or raise his bid, whichever is more profitable. We characterize equilibrium bidding in first- and second-price auctions, show how corruption distorts the allocation, and why both the auctioneer and bidders may have a vested interest in maintaining corruption. Bid rigging is initiated by the auctioneer after bids have been submitted in order to minimize illegal contact and to realize the maximum gain from corruption.

Suggested Citation

  • Yvan Lengwiler & Elmar G. Wolfstetter, 2005. "Bid Rigging – An Analysis of Corruption in Auctions," CESifo Working Paper Series 1488, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1488
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1488.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1992. "Bidding Rings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 579-599, June.
      • McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990. "Bidding Rings," Working Papers 726, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    2. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    3. Arozamena, Leandro & Weinschelbaum, Federico, 2009. "The effect of corruption on bidding behavior in first-price auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 645-657, August.
    4. Burguet Roberto & Perry Martin K, 2007. "Bribery and Favoritism by Auctioneers in Sealed-Bid Auctions," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-27, June.
    5. Celentani, Marco & Ganuza, Juan-Jose, 2002. "Corruption and competition in procurement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1273-1303, July.
    6. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Auction design and favoritism," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 9-42, March.
    7. Engelbrecht-Wiggans Richard, 1994. "Auctions with Price-Proportional Benefits to Bidders," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 339-346, May.
    8. Menezes, Flavio M. & Monteiro, Paulo Klinger, 2006. "Corruption and auctions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 97-108, February.
    9. Benny Moldovanu & Manfred Tietzel, 1998. "Goethe's Second-Price Auction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 854-859, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Gonzalez Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," Working Papers 72, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2004.
    2. Wolfstetter, Elmar G., 2005. "Procurement of Goods and Services – Scope and Government," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 93, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    3. Maria M. Wihardja, 2010. "Corruption In Public Procurement Auctions: Positive Equilibrium Analysis, Incentive Mechanism Design, And Empirical Study," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 35(1), pages 35-57, March.
    4. Shinya Horie, 2017. "Procurement Auctions with Uncertainty in Corruption," Discussion Papers 1710, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    auctions; procurement; corruption; right of first refusal; numerical methods;

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