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Public Markets Tailored for the Cartel- Favoritism in Procurement Auctions

Author

Listed:
  • Ariane Lambert Mogiliansky

    () (Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques)

  • Grigory Kosenok

    () (NES)

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate interaction between two firms engaged in a repeated procurement relationship modelled as a multiple criteria auction, and an auctioneer (a government employee) who has discretion in devising the selection criteria. A first result is that, in a one-shot context, favoritism turns the asymmetric information (private cost) procurement auction into a symmetric information auction (in bribes) for a common value prize. In a repeated setting we show that favoritism increases the gains from collusion and contributes to solving basic implementation problems for a cartel of bidders that operates in a stochastically changing environment. A most simple allocation rule where firms take turn in winning independently of stochastic government preferences and firms’ costs is optimal. In each period the selection criteria is fine-tailored to the in-turn winner: the "environment” adapts to the cartel. This result holds true when the expected punishment is a fixed cost. When the cost varies with the magnitude of the distortion of the selection criteria (compared with the true government’s preferences), favoritism only partially shades the cartel from the environment. Nevertheless, even in this case favoritism greatly simplifies matters for the cartel. We thus find that favoritism generally facilitates collusion at a high cost for society. Some policy implications of the analysis are suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Ariane Lambert Mogiliansky & Grigory Kosenok, 2006. "Public Markets Tailored for the Cartel- Favoritism in Procurement Auctions," Working Papers w0074, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0074
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    File URL: http://www.cefir.ru/papers/WP74MogilianskiKosenok.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. O. Compte & A. Lambert-Mogiliansky & T. Verdier, 2005. "Corruption and Competition in Procurement Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 1-15, Spring.
    2. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
    3. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1992. "Bidding Rings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 579-599.
      • McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990. "Bidding Rings," Working Papers 726, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    4. Bernard Caillaud & Philippe Jehiel, 1998. "Collusion in Auctions with Externalities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 680-702, Winter.
    5. Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky & Konstantin Sonin, 2006. "Collusive Market Sharing and Corruption in Procurement," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, pages 883-908.
    6. Roberto Burguet & Yeon-Koo Che, 2004. "Competitive Procurement with Corruption," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 50-68, Spring.
    7. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
    8. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Auction design and favoritism," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 9-42, March.
    9. Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky & Konstantin Sonin, 2006. "Collusive Market Sharing and Corruption in Procurement," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, pages 883-908.
    10. Graham, Daniel A & Marshall, Robert C, 1987. "Collusive Bidder Behavior at Single-Object Second-Price and English Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1217-1239, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky, 2011. "Corruption and Collusion: Strategic Complements in Procurement," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, Volume Two, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    auction; collusion; favoritism; procurement;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement

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