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Procurement Auctions with Pre-award Subcontracting


  • Jun Nakabayashi


To be the lowest bidder in procurement auctions, prime contractors commonly solicit subcontract bids at the bid preparation stage. A remarkable feature of the subcontract competition is that "winning is not everything"; the lowest subcontractor gets a job conditional on his prime contractor's successful bid. This paper makes the first attempt to establish a model for such pre-award subcontract competitions included in procurement auctions. I find that subcontractors strategically provide larger discounts on their bids in response to increasing competition among prime contractors. I thus clarify that the behavior results in an endogenous downward shift in the distribution of bidders' private information in the downstream auction as the number of rivals increases, or the reservation price drops. The result has a striking impact on the analysis of optimal reservation price and empirical identification of the bidder's cost distribution in procurement auctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jun Nakabayashi, 2009. "Procurement Auctions with Pre-award Subcontracting," Tsukuba Economics Working Papers 2009-013, Economics, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba, revised Jul 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:tsu:tewpjp:2009-013

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