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The Impact of Scoring Weights on Price and Quality Outcomes: An Application to the Procurement of Welfare-to-Work Contracts

  • Koning, Pierre

    ()

    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • van de Meerendonk, Arthur

    ()

    (Maastricht University)

This paper assesses the effects of changes in scoring weights in auctions, using a unique sample of biddings of private Welfare-to-Work (WTW) organizations to reintegrate groups of unemployed and disabled workers. WTW-organizations did not only bid on prices, but also received points for three proxies of the quality of their services: their reputation, a description of their intended methodology to reintegrate workers and the fraction of job placements they considered likely to achieve. We exploit the fact that the scoring weights of these items changed in the time period under consideration, while the broad classification of ('gross') worker types remained similar over time. Our estimation results show that increases in the scoring weights of the quality items result in higher price bids, particularly of WTW-firms that are bidding for the first time as entrants. For the WTW-firms that won the procurements, we find a higher weight for both the reputation and the methodology item to contribute to the job placement of workers.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7116.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: European Economic Review, 2014
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7116
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  1. Bergman, Mats & Lundberg, Sofia, 2011. "Tender Evaluation and Award Methodologies in Public Procurement," Umeå Economic Studies 821, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  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. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  4. Steven Tadelis, 2009. "Auctions Versus Negotiations in Procurement: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 372-399, October.
  5. Oecd, 2011. "Centralised Purchasing Systems in the European Union," SIGMA Papers 47, OECD Publishing.
  6. John Asker & Estelle Cantillon, 2008. "Properties of scoring auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 69-85.
  7. Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Economics Series Working Papers 1999-W12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2012. "Reputation, Competition, and Entry in Procurement," SITE Working Paper Series 14, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics.
  9. Onderstal, Sander, 2009. "Bidding for the unemployed: An application of mechanism design to welfare-to-work programs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 715-722, August.
  10. Francesco Decarolis, 2014. "Awarding Price, Contract Performance, and Bids Screening: Evidence from Procurement Auctions," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 108-32, January.
  11. James Heckman & Carolyn Heinrich & Jeffrey Smith, 2002. "The Performance of Performance Standards," NBER Working Papers 9002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Gerald Marschke & Pascal Courty, 2002. "An Empirical Investigation of Gaming Responses to Explicit Performance Incentives," Discussion Papers 02-06, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  13. Pierre Koning & C.J. Heinrich, 2009. "Cream-skimming, parking and other intended and unintended effects of performance-based contracting in social welfare services," CPB Discussion Paper 134, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  14. Behaghel, Luc & Crépon, Bruno & Gurgand, Marc, 2012. "Private and Public Provision of Counseling to Job-Seekers: Evidence from a Large Controlled Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6518, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Lisa J. Cameron, 2000. "Limiting Buyer Discretion: Effects on Performance and Price in Long-Term Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 265-281, March.
  16. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1987. "Competition for Agency Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 296-307, Summer.
  17. Gian Luigi Albano & Federico Dini & Roberto Zampino, 2008. "Bidding for Complex Projects: Evidence From the Acquisitions of IT Services," Working Papers 2008.86, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  18. Patrick Bajari & Gregory Lewis, 2009. "Procurement Contracting with Time Incentives: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Frank A. Wolak, 2003. "Measuring Unilateral Market Power in Wholesale Electricity Markets: The California Market, 1998–2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 425-430, May.
  20. Pierre Koning & Carolyn J. Heinrich, 2013. "Cream‐Skimming, Parking and Other Intended and Unintended Effects of High‐Powered, Performance‐Based Contracts," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(3), pages 461-483, 06.
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