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Procurement Contracts under Limited Liability


  • Parlane, S.


I analyze in this paper procurement from agents protected by limited liability. I model limited liability as a verifiable bargaining tool that enables the agents to induce renegotiation when the contracted price does not cover the project's cost. I show that the determination of the optimal mechanism is based on a trade-off between playing informal rents and renegotiation costs. When the renegotiation costs are sufficiently large the first price auction is optimal among efficient mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Parlane, S., 1998. "Procurement Contracts under Limited Liability," Papers 98/3, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:dublec:98/3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mark Armstrong, 2000. "Optimal Multi-Object Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 455-481.
    2. Matthews, Steven, 1987. "Comparing Auctions for Risk Averse Buyers: A Buyer's Point of View," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 633-646, May.
    3. Riordan, Michael H & Sappington, David E M, 1988. " Commitment in Procurement Contracting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(3), pages 357-372.
    4. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
    5. Yossef Spiegel, 1996. "The Role of Debt in Procurement Contracts," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 379-407, September.
    6. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Procurement and Renegotiation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 235-259, April.
    7. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1986. "Bidding for Contracts: A Principal-Agent Analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 326-338, Autumn.
    8. Roger B. Myerson, 1981. "Optimal Auction Design," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 6(1), pages 58-73, February.
    9. Spulber, Daniel F, 1990. "Auctions and Contract Enforcement," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 325-344, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Burguet, Roberto & Ganuza, Juan-José & Hauk, Esther, 2012. "Limited liability and mechanism design in procurement," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 15-25.
    2. Marinakis, Kosmas & Tsoulouhas, Theofanis, 2013. "Are tournaments optimal over piece rates under limited liability for the principal?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 223-237.
    3. Wei-Shiun Chang & Timothy C. Salmon & Krista J. Saral, 2016. "Procurement Auctions With Renegotiation And Wealth Constraints," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1684-1704, July.
    4. Ottorino Chillemi & Claudio Mezzetti, 2014. "Optimal procurement mechanisms: bidding on price and damages for breach," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(2), pages 335-355, February.
    5. Lorentziadis, Panos L., 2016. "Optimal bidding in auctions from a game theory perspective," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(2), pages 347-371.
    6. Sander Onderstal & Ailko van der Veen, 2011. "Keeping out Trojan Horses: Auctions and Bankruptcy in the Laboratory," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-024/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. Kreiss, Jan & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Haufe, Marie-Christin, 2017. "Appropriate design of auctions for renewable energy support – Prequalifications and penalties," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 512-520.

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    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets


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