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Least-Present-Value-of-Revenue Auctions and Highway Franchising

Author

Listed:
  • Eduardo Engel

    ()

  • Ronald Fischer

    ()

  • Alexander Galetovic

    ()

Abstract

In recent years several countries have started massive highway franchising programs auctioned to private firms. In these auctions, the regulator typically sets the franchise term and firms bid on tolls or, alternatively, the regulator sets tolls and the winner is the firm that asks for the shortest franchise term. In both cases, the franchise term is fixed before the franchise begins. In this paper we propose a new auction mechanism, where the regulator sets the toll schedule and the firm that bids the least present value of toll revenue wins the franchise. With this scheme the franchise length adjusts endogenously to demand realizations. Assuming that the regulator is not allowed to make transfers to the franchise holder, and that firms are unable to diversify risk completely, we characterize the full information optimal contract and show that it can be implemented with a Least-Present-Value-of-Revenue (LPVR) auction. Furthermore, for demand uncertainty and risk aversion parameters typical of developing countries, welfare gains associated with sub-stituting an LPVR for a fixed-term auction are large (e.g., one third of the cost of the highway).

Suggested Citation

  • Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 1998. "Least-Present-Value-of-Revenue Auctions and Highway Franchising," Documentos de Trabajo 37, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  • Handle: RePEc:edj:ceauch:37
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oliver E. Williamson, 1976. "Franchise Bidding for Natural Monopolies -- in General and with Respect to CATV," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 73-104, Spring.
    2. Arrow, Kenneth J & Lind, Robert C, 1970. "Uncertainty and the Evaluation of Public Investment Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 364-378, June.
    3. Riordan, Michael H & Sappington, David E M, 1987. "Awarding Monopoly Franchises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 375-387, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods

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