IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Competition and cost overruns. Optimal misspecification of procurement contracts

Most cases of cost overruns in public procurement are related to important changes in the initial project design. This paper deals with the problem of design specification in public procurement and provides a rationale for design misspecification. We propose a model in which the sponsor decides how much to invest in design specification and awards competitively the project to a contractor. After the project has been awarded the sponsor engages in bilateral renegotiation with the contractor, in order to accommodate changes in the initial project’s design that new information makes desirable. When procurement takes place in the presence of horizontally differentiated contractors, the design’s specification level is seen to affect the resulting degree of competition. The paper highlights this interaction between market competition and design specification and shows that the sponsor’s optimal strategy, when facing an imperfectly competitive market supply, is to underinvest in design specification so as to make significant cost overruns likely. Since no such misspecification occurs in a perfectly competitive market, cost overruns are seen to arise as a consequence of lack of competition in the procurement market.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/471.pdf
File Function: Whole Paper
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 471.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Oct 1998
Date of revision: Mar 2002
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:471
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1994. "Supplying Information to Facilitate Price Discrimination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 309-27, May.
  2. Che, Y.K., 1991. "Design Competition through Multidimensional Auctions," Working papers 9123, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Milgrom, P. & Shannon, C., 1991. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Papers 11, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  4. Aaron S. Edlin and Chris Shannon., 1995. "Strict Monotonicity in Comparative Statics," Economics Working Papers 95-238, University of California at Berkeley.
  5. Cremer, J. & Khalil, F., 1991. "Gathering Information Before Signing a Contract," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-16, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  6. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Chung, Tai-Yeong, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-42, October.
  8. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-85, July.
  9. Cremer, Jacques, 1995. "Arm's Length Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 275-95, May.
  10. Caspar, Vitor & Leite, Antonio P. N., 1989. "Selection bias induced cost overruns," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 175-187.
  11. Bos, Dieter & Lulfesmann, Christoph, 1996. " The Hold-Up Problem in Government Contracting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(1), pages 53-74, March.
  12. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad, 1994. "Gathering information before the contract is offered: The case with two states of nature," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 675-682, April.
  13. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:471. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.