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STICERD Industrial Organisation Seminars

Competition under Incomplete Contracts and the Design of Procurement Policies

Rodrigo Carril (Pompeu Fabra University), joint with Andres Gonzalez-Lira and Michael S. Walker

Monday 28 November 2022 12:30 - 14:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.


About this event

We study the effects of intensifying competition for contracts in the context of U.S. Defense procurement. Conceptually, opening contracts up to bids by more participants leads to lower awarding prices, but may hinder buyers' control over non-contractible characteristics of prospective contractors. Leveraging a regulation that mandates agencies to publicize certain contract opportunities, we document that expanding the set of bidders reduces award prices, but deteriorates post-award performance, resulting in more cost overruns and delays. To further study the scope of this tension, we develop and estimate a model in which the buyer endogenously chooses the intensity of competition, invited sellers decide on auction participation and bidding, and the winner executes the contract ex-post. Model estimates indicate substantial heterogeneity in ex-post performance across contractors, and show that simple adjustments to the current regulation that account for adverse selection could provide 2 percent of savings in procurement spending, or $104 million annually.

Industrial Organisation seminars are held on Mondays in term time at 12:30-14:00, in person, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organiser: Alessandro Gavazza.

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email: l.chibwe@lse.ac.uk.

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