Many organizations use procurement tenders to buy large amounts of goods and services. Especially in the public sector the use of these reverse auctions has grown rapidly over the past decades. For the (reverse) unit price auction experience as well as theory have shown that they can attract skewed/unbalanced bids, i.e. bids where the price structure is distorted to take advantage of estimation errors. This paper shows that by either allowing for some secrecy or post tender competition, incentives in unit price auction change in such a way that can make bid skewing disappear.

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Tinbergen Institute
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series
Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute
Tinbergen Institute

Renes, S. (2011). Balancing the Bids, Solutions for Unit Price Auctions (No. TI 2011-047/1). Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute (pp. 1–29). Retrieved from