Design of public procurement auctions: Evidence from cleaning contracts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • University of Jyväskylä
  • Umeå University
  • KU Leuven


We analyze a regime change from beauty contests to first-price sealed-bid and scoring auctions, using Swedish data on public procurement of cleaning services. In beauty contests, the lowest bid often lost, leaving substantial money on the table. The procurement costs were similar before and after the regime change: (i) Entry strongly decreases the procurement cost but did not change.
Entry would have decreased had the municipalities not adjusted the objects of auctions. (ii) Municipalities favored in-house suppliers in the old regime, leading to more aggressive bidding by others. With favoritism reduced, these changes balanced each other out.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-426
Number of pages29
JournalRAND Journal of Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 27371188