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Collusive market-sharing and corruption in procurement

  • Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris)

  • Konstantin Sonin

    (NES - New Economic School - NES, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, CEFIR - Center for Economic and Financial Research - CEFIR)

This paper investigates links between corruption and collusion in procurement. A first-price multiple-object auction is administered by an agent who has legal discretion to allow for a readjustment of (all) submitted offers before the official opening. The agent may be corrupt, i.e. willing to "sell" his decision in exchange for a bribe. Our main result shows that the corrupt agent's incentives to extract rents are closely linked with that of a cartel of bidders. First, collusive bidding conveys value to the agent's decision power. Second, self-interested abuse of discretion to extract rents (corruption) provides a mechanism to enforce collusion. A second result is that package bidding can facilitate collusion. We also find that with corruption, collusion is more likely in auctions where firms are small relative to the market. Our main message to auction designers, competition authorities and criminal courts is that risks of collusion and of corruption must be addressed simultaneously. Some other policy implications for the design of tender procedures are discussed.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00590773.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00590773
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  1. John O. Ledyard & David Porter & Antonio Rangel, 1997. "Experiments Testing Multiobject Allocation Mechanisms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 639-675, 09.
  2. Babaioff, Moshe & Feldman, Michal & Nisan, Noam & Winter, Eyal, 2012. "Combinatorial agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 999-1034.
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