Auctions Under Increasing Costs: Coordination Problems and the Existence of an Asymmetric Equilibrium

David Reiffen
Working Paper:

This paper models procurement auctions when suppliers face increasing costs. It is shown than an asymmetric equilibrium exists whereby one bidder bids different prices on each project in a series of simultaneous auctions, while its competitor bids the same price on each project. This existence of such an equilibrium may provide an explanation for observed bidding behavior in industries plausibly - characterized by increasing costs. Further, it is shown that the price paid in simultaneously-held auctions will be less than the prices paid in sequentially-held auctions. Hence, the existence of an asymmetric equilibria may explain the prominence of simultaneous auctions for certain products.