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Persistent markups in bidding markets with financial constraints

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  • Hernando-Veciana, Ángel
  • Beker, Pablo F.

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of financial constraints on the persistency of high markups in a class of markets, including public procurement, known by practitioners as bidding markets. We develop an infinite horizon model in which two firms optimally reinvest working capital and bid for a procurement contract each period. Working capital is constrained by the firm's cash from previous period and some exogenous cash flow, it is costly and it increases the set of acceptable bids. We argue that the latter is a natural consequence of the presence of progress payments or the existence of moral hazard. We say that the firm is (severely) financially constrained if its working capital is such that only bids (substantially) above production cost are acceptable. We show that markups are positive (high) if and only if one firm is (severely) financially constrained. Our main result is that markups are persistently high because one firm is severely financially constrained most of the time.

Suggested Citation

  • Hernando-Veciana, Ángel & Beker, Pablo F., 2011. "Persistent markups in bidding markets with financial constraints," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1133, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1133
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pitchik, Carolyn & Schotter, Andrew, 1986. "Budget Constrained Sequential Auctions," Working Papers 86-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    2. Aleix Calveras & Juan-Jose Ganuza & Esther Hauk, 2004. "Wild Bids. Gambling for Resurrection in Procurement Contracts," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 41-68, July.
    3. Kaplan, Todd, et al, 2002. "All-Pay Auctions with Variable Rewards," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 417-430, December.
    4. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
    5. Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Martin Pesendorfer, 2003. "Estimation of a Dynamic Auction Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1443-1489, September.
    6. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-465, Autumn.
    7. Dan Kovenock & Michael R. Baye & Casper G. de Vries, 1996. "The all-pay auction with complete information (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(2), pages 291-305.
    8. Porter, Robert H & Zona, J Douglas, 1993. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 518-538, June.
    9. Peter M. DeMarzo & Ilan Kremer & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2005. "Bidding with Securities: Auctions and Security Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 936-959, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Athey, Susan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2001. "Investment and Market Dominance," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
    12. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2002. "Increasing Competition and the Winner's Curse: Evidence from Procurement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 871-898.
    13. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian, 1996. "Expected revenue of all-pay auctions and first-price sealed-bid auctions with budget constraints," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 373-379, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Beker, Pablo F. & Hernando-Veciana, Angel, 2013. "Bidding Markets with Financial Constraints," Economic Research Papers 270532, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    2. Beker, Pablo F. & Hernando-Veciana, Ángel, 2015. "The dynamics of bidding markets with financial constraints," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 234-261.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bidding markets;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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