A “low-balling strategy” by bidding contractors has increasingly been recognized as an important issue in public infrastructure procurement. Public works contracts are often imperfect and renegotiated after the contract award. Given the expectation for ex post adjustments, bidders seem motivated to take advantage of the low-balling strategy. This paper analyzes the endogeneity between the bid strategy and ex post adjustments. Using procurement data on rural road projects in Nepal, it shows that the bid strategy and adjustments are determined endogenously in the system. Anticipating cost and time overruns, firms would likely undercut normal bid prices. Then, ex post contract adjustments actually happen, because of their too aggressive bids.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 7, 2013
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