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Franchise Bidding in the Water Industry – Auction Schemes and Investment Incentives

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  • Urs Meister

Abstract

The periodical re-auction of a water monopoly concession causes the danger of underinvestment. If the life-time of specific assets such as water pipes exceeds the contract length and transferring the ownership of assets is difficult, the incumbent franchisee faces a hold-up problem. Using a simple auction model that considers the specifics of the piped water sector this paper shows that investment incentives may vary depending on the applied auction scheme. The model is designed as a two stage game, where the franchisee decides about investment on the first and competes with a potential market entrant on the second stage. Investment tends to be higher in sealed bid auctions than in an English auction, since the incumbent benefits from an information advantage. Additionally investment may vary in a first- and a second-price sealed bid auction depending on several factors such as costs or effectiveness of investment. The analysis is extended by a vertical separation.

Suggested Citation

  • Urs Meister, 2004. "Franchise Bidding in the Water Industry – Auction Schemes and Investment Incentives," Public Economics 0412011, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0412011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Telser, Lester G, 1969. "On the Regulation of Industry: A Note," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(6), pages 937-952, Nov./Dec..
    2. Jihad Elnaboulsi, 2001. "Organization, Management and Delegation in the French Water Industry," Post-Print hal-00447923, HAL.
    3. Ephraim Clark & Gérard Mondello, 2000. "Water Management in France: Delegation and Irreversibility," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 3, pages 325-352, November.
    4. Michael Klein, 1998. "Rebidding for Concessions," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11524, The World Bank.
    5. Wolfstetter, Elmar, 1996. " Auctions: An Introduction," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 367-420, December.
    6. 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, January.
    7. Leandro Arozamena & Estelle Cantillon, 2004. "Investment Incentives in Procurement Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 1-18.
    8. Oliver E. Williamson, 1976. "Franchise Bidding for Natural Monopolies -- in General and with Respect to CATV," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 73-104, Spring.
    9. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    10. Michael H. Rothkopf & Ronald M. Harstad, 1994. "Modeling Competitive Bidding: A Critical Essay," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(3), pages 364-384, March.
    11. Milgrom, Paul, 1989. "Auctions and Bidding: A Primer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    12. John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
    13. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pasquale L. Scandizzo & Marco Ventura, 2008. "A model of public and private partnership through concession contracts," ISAE Working Papers 104, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
    2. Carlos Costa, 2012. "On the Use of Reverse Auctions to Designate Universal Postal Service Providers," Chapters,in: Multi-Modal Competition and the Future of Mail, chapter 21 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Water; Networks; Franchise Bidding; Investment;

    JEL classification:

    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

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