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Cost Overrun and Auction Format in Public Works

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandro Bucciol

    () (University of Verona & University of Amsterdam)

  • Ottorino Chillemi

    () (University of Padova)

  • Giacomo Palazzi

    () (University of Padova)

Abstract

We provide an empirical investigation of cost overruns in small public procurement projects, using a panel dataset of auctions held in the Italian Veneto region between 2004 and 2006. We use this sample to study the effect on cost overruns of auction formats (average bid as opposed to first price rule) conditional on the entry mechanisms (free as opposed to limited access). It is commonly believed that cost overruns are lower under average bid auctions relative to first price auctions. We find support to this belief only when access to the auction is limited. We interpret this finding as evidence that winner's adverse selection is an important problem in auctions for small size public works, and the lack of a significant effect of the average bid format in free entry auctions may reflect collusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Bucciol & Ottorino Chillemi & Giacomo Palazzi, 2011. "Cost Overrun and Auction Format in Public Works," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0129, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  • Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0129
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Aleix Calveras & Juan-Jose Ganuza & Esther Hauk, 2004. "Wild Bids. Gambling for Resurrection in Procurement Contracts," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 41-68, July.
    2. Francesco Decarolis, 2009. "When the highest bidder loses the auction: theory and evidence from public procurement," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 717, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Gian Luigi Albano & Milo Bianchi & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2006. "Bid Average Methods in Procurement," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 96(1), pages 41-62, January-F.
    4. Waehrer Keith, 1995. "A Model of Auction Contracts with Liquidated Damages," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 531-555, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Simon Board, 2007. "Bidding into the Red: A Model of Post-Auction Bankruptcy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(6), pages 2695-2723, December.
    7. Timothy G. Conley & Francesco Decarolis, 2016. "Detecting Bidders Groups in Collusive Auctions," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 1-38, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luigi Moretti & Paola Valbonesi, 2012. "Subcontracting in Public Procurement: An Empirical Investigation," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0154, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cost overrun; average bid; first price; free entry; work delays.;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement

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