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Why are bids not more unbalanced?

  • Mandell, Svante



  • Nyström, Johan



Earlier theoretical models of unbalanced bidding in unit price contracts (UPC) ofter predict corner solutions, i.e. zero bids for unit prices of expected overextimated quantities. However, anecdotal evidence indicates a lack of zero bids in the actual contracts. We pursue a possible explanation for this anomaly in risk-aversion of the contractor. Using a simple model we show that a contractor with superior information may exploit this in the bidding process to increase her expectd revenue. However, in so doing she increases her risk exposure. If the contractor is risk-averse, she typically will avoid a corner solution to this risk vs. expected return trade-off.

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Paper provided by CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI) in its series Working papers in Transport Economics with number 2011:13.

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Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: 02 Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ctswps:2011_013
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
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  1. Levin, Jonathan & Athey, Susan, 2001. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Scholarly Articles 3612768, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Ewerhart II, Christian & Fieseler, Karsten, 2002. "Procurement Auctions and Unit-Price Contracts," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-11, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  3. Gibbons, Robert, 2005. "Four forma(lizable) theories of the firm?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 200-245, October.
  4. David William Cattell & Paul Anthony Bowen & Ammar Kaka, 2010. "The risks of unbalanced bidding," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 333-344.
  5. David William Cattell & Paul Anthony Bowen & Ammar Kaka, 2008. "A simplified unbalanced bidding model," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(12), pages 1283-1290.
  6. David Arditi & Ranon Chotibhongs, 2009. "Detection and prevention of unbalanced bids," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(8), pages 721-732.
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