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On the distribution of bids for construction contract auctions

Ballesteros-Pérez, P. and Skitmore, M. (2017) On the distribution of bids for construction contract auctions. Construction Management and Economics, 35 (3). pp. 106-121. ISSN 0144-6193

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2016.1247972


The statistical distribution representing bid values constitutes an essential part of many auction models and has involved a wide range of assumptions, including the Uniform, Normal, Lognormal and Weibull densities. From a modelling point of view, its goodness is defined by how well it enables the probability of a particular bid value to be estimated – a past bid for ex-post analysis and a future bid for ex-ante (forecasting) analysis. However, there is no agreement to date of what is the most appropriate form and empirical work is sparse. Twelve extant construction datasets from four continents over different time periods are analysed in this paper for their fit to a variety of candidate statistical distributions assuming homogeneity of bidders (ID not known). The results show there is no one single fit-all distribution, but that the 3p Log-Normal, Fréchet/2p Log-Normal, Normal, Gamma and Gumbel generally rank the best ex-post, and the 2p Log-Normal, Normal, Gamma and Gumbel the best ex-ante – with ex-ante having around three to four times worse fit than ex-post. Final comments focus on the results relating to the third and fourth standardised moments of the bids and a post-hoc rationalisation of the empirical outcome of the analysis.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment
ID Code:67422
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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