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Auditing Cost Overrun Claims

  • David Pérez-Castrillo

    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Nicolas Riedinger

    (ENSAE, Paris)

We consider a cost-reimbursement or a cost-sharing procurement contract between the administration and a firm. The firm privately learns the true cost overrun once the project has started and it can manipulate this information. We characterize the optimal auditing policy of cost overrun claims as a function of the initial contractual payment, the share of the cost overrun paid by the administration, the cost and the accuracy of the auditing technology, and the penalty rate that can be imposed on fraudulent firms. We also show that this possibility of misreporting reduces the set of projects carried out and biases the choice of the quality level of those projects that the administration carries out.

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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics in its series CIE Discussion Papers with number 1999-12.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieci:1999-12
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  1. 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.
  2. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J David, 1997. "Optimal Auditing with Heterogeneous Income," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(4), pages 951-68, November.
  3. Tracy R. Lewis, 1986. "Reputation and Contractual Performance in Long-Term Projects," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(2), pages 141-157, Summer.
  4. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Souam, Said, 2001. "Optimal antitrust policy under different regimes of fines," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-26, January.
  6. Sanchez, Isabel & Sobel, Joel, 1993. "Hierarchical design and enforcement of income tax policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 345-369, March.
  7. Arvan, Lanny & Leite, Antonio P. N., 1990. "Cost overruns in long term projects," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 443-467, September.
  8. J. Michael Cummins, 1977. "Incentive Contracting for National Defense: A Problem of Optimal Risk Sharing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(1), pages 168-185, Spring.
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