Incumbent and Entrant Bidding in Scoring Rule Auctions: A Study on Italian Canteen Services
We empirically investigate incumbents’ and entrants’ bids on an original dataset of 192 scoring rule auctions for canteen services in Italy. Our findings show that winning rebates are lower (i.e., prices paid by the public buyer are higher) when the contract is awarded to the incumbent supplier. This result is not explained by the observable characteristics of the auction and the service awarded. We develop a simple theoretical model showing that the result is consistent with a setting in which the buyer exploits specific information on the incumbent supplier’s production cost.