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The Effect of Corruption on Bidding Behavior in First-Price Auctions

  • Federico Weinschelbaum
  • Leandro Arozamena

Most of the literature on auctions assumes that the auctioneer owns the object on sale. However most auctions are organized and run by an agent of the owner. This separation generates the possibility of corruption. We analyze the effect of a particular form of corruption on bidding behavior in a single-object, private-value auction with risk-neutral bidders. Bidders believe that, with a certain probability, the auctioneer has reached an agreement with one of the bidders by which, after receiving all bids, (i) she will reveal to that bidder all of her rivals' bids, and (ii) she will allow that bidder to change her original bid upwards or downwards. We study how an honest bidder would adjust her bidding behavior when facing this type of collusion between a dishonest rival and the auctioneer. In a first price auction, an honest bidder can become more or less aggressive than she would be without corruption, or her behavior can remain unchanged. We identify sufficient conditions for each of the three possibilities. We also examine the extent to which the most commonly used distributions satisfy each of the three conditions

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings with number 180.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:180
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  1. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1989. "Government procurement and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 291-308, May.
  2. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, 08.
  3. Marshall, Robert C. & Marx, Leslie M., 2007. "Bidder collusion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 374-402, March.
  4. Federico Weinschelbaum & Leandro Arozamena, 2006. "A Note on the Suboptimality of Right-of-First-Refusal Clauses," Working Papers 92, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jul 2006.
  5. Branco, Fernando, 1994. "Favoring domestic firms in procurement contracts," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1-2), pages 65-80, August.
  6. Kenneth Hendricks & Robert Porter, 1989. "Collusion in Auctions," Discussion Papers 817, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Menezes, Flavio M. & Monteiro, Paulo Klinger, 2006. "Corruption and auctions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 97-108, February.
  8. Roberto Burguet & Martin Perry, 2002. "Bribery and Favoritism by Auctioneers in Sealed Bid Auctions," Departmental Working Papers 200205, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  9. Juan José Ganuza, 2003. "Competition and cost overruns in procurement," Economics Working Papers 772, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  10. Roberto Burguet & Martin K. Perry, 2003. "Preferred Suppliers and Vertical Integration in Auction Market," Working Papers 74, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  11. Vagstad, Steinar, 1995. "Promoting fair competition in public procurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 283-307, October.
  12. Bikhchandani Sushil & Lippman Steven A. & Ryan Reade, 2005. "On the Right-of-First-Refusal," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-44, April.
  13. Roberto Burguet & Yeon-Koo Che, 2004. "Competitive Procurement with Corruption," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 50-68, Spring.
  14. Jones, C. & Menezes, F., 1995. "Auctions and Corruption: How to Compensate the Auctioneer," Papers 291, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  15. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Auction design and favoritism," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 9-42, March.
  16. Naegelen, Florence & Mougeot, Michel, 1998. "Discriminatory public procurement policy and cost reduction incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 349-367, March.
  17. Lengwiler, Yvan & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2000. "Auctions and corruption," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2000,40, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  18. Lengwiler, Yvan & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2010. "Auctions and corruption: An analysis of bid rigging by a corrupt auctioneer," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1872-1892, October.
  19. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2006:i:24:p:1-5 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Ingraham Allan T, 2005. "A Test for Collusion between a Bidder and an Auctioneer in Sealed-Bid Auctions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-34, September.
  21. Lee, Joon-Suk, 2008. "Favoritism in asymmetric procurement auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1407-1424, November.
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