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Procurement with Unenforceable Contract Time and the Law of Liquidated Damages

Author

Listed:
  • Cesare Dosi

    (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova)

  • Michele Moretto

    (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova, Centro Studi Levi Cases, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)

Abstract

Time overruns are common in public works and are not confined to inherently complex tasks. One explanation advanced in this paper is that bidders can undergo unpredictable changes in production costs which generate an option value of waiting. By exploiting the real-option approach, we examine how the inability to force sellers to meet the contract time influences their bidding behaviour, and how this can ultimately affect the parties’ expected payoffs. Further, we examine the outcome of the bidding process when legal rules prevent the promisee from contracting for damage measures which would grant more than her lost expectation. We show that when the pre-agreed compensatory payments prove insufficient to discourage delayed orders, setting a liquidated damages clause would not lead to a Pareto superior outcome with respect to the no-damage-for delay condition. While such a clause would increase the seller’s expected payoff, the buyer’s expected payoff is lower than when the contract does not provide for any compensation for late-delivery.

Suggested Citation

  • Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 2012. "Procurement with Unenforceable Contract Time and the Law of Liquidated Damages," Working Papers 2012.45, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2012.45
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Juan José Ganuza, 2003. "Competition and cost overruns in procurement," Economics Working Papers 772, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    2. Yeon-Koo Che, 1993. "Design Competition through Multidimensional Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(4), pages 668-680, Winter.
    3. Al-Najjar, Nabil I. & Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 2002. "Unforeseen Contingencies," CEPR Discussion Papers 3271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Calzolari, Giacomo & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2009. "Relational Contracts and Competitive Screening," CEPR Discussion Papers 7434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Sergio Vergalli & Chiara D’Alpaos & Michele Moretto & Paola Valbonesi, 2009. ""It Is Never too late": Optimal Penalty for Investment Delay in Public Procurement Contracts," Working Papers 2009.78, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Krishna, Vijay, 2009. "Auction Theory," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780123745071.
    7. 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.
    8. Manelli, Alejandro M & Vincent, Daniel R, 1995. "Optimal Procurement Mechanisms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 591-620, May.
    9. Michael Garvin & Charles Cheah, 2004. "Valuation techniques for infrastructure investment decisions," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 373-383.
    10. Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 2013. "Auctioning Monopoly Franchises: Award Criteria and Rollout Obligations," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 15(1), pages 53-75, February.
    11. Ram Singh, 2009. "Delays and Cost Overruns in Infrastructure Projects -- An Enquiry into Extents, Causes and Remedies," Working papers 181, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    12. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 2017. "Cost Uncertainty and Time Overruns in Public Procurement: a Scoring Auction for a Contract with Delay Penalties," Working Papers 2017.02, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Chiara D’Alpaos & Michele Moretto & Paola Valbonesi & Sergio Vergalli, 2013. "Time overruns as opportunistic behavior in public procurement," Journal of Economics, Springer, pages 25-43.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Procurement; Fixed-Price Contracts; Cost Uncertainty; Time Overruns; Liquidated Damages; Real Options;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law

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