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Bidding for concessions

  • Klein, Michael

Privatization of infrastructure ventures in sectors such as energy, telecommunication, transport, and water has become popular over the last decade. Often- for good or bad reasons - private firms are given monopoly franchises under some type of long-term concession agreement, for example"Build-Operate-Transfer"schemes. The article surveys the issues arising in designing specifications as well as incentive and risk-sharing parameters comprehensively and consistently both to achieve efficient performance by the concessionaire and to minimize post-award renegotiations. Concession award should as a rule be made competitively, unless special requirements of speed, innovation, or excessive transaction cost argue otherwise. Typically, competitive concession award is made by first price sealed bids. There are strong arguments, however, to consider open auctions more seriously in a number of cases. Auctions may also be re-awarded by way of auction. However, somewhat arbitrary bid preferences may have to be set. Auctioneers for complex concession contracts should operate at arms-length from all interested parties, including politicians. It may be sensible to let independent agencies that regulate the concession scheme run the auction.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1957.

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Date of creation: 31 Aug 1998
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1957
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  1. Riley, John G, 1989. "Expected Revenue from Open and Sealed Bid Auctions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 41-50, Summer.
  2. Milgrom, Paul, 1989. "Auctions and Bidding: A Primer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  3. Robert A. Feldman & Rajnish Mehra, 1993. "Auctions: Theory and Applications," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(3), pages 485-511, September.
  4. Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "Anomalies: The Winner's Curse," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 191-202, Winter.
  5. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  6. John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
  7. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, June.
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