School of Economics

ESRC grant Transparency in Procurement

József Sákovics (PI), Ina Taneva, Ludo Visschers (all at the University Edinburgh) and Roberto Burguet (Institute for Economic Analysis, CSIC, Spain) are collaborating on this ESRC research grant. The project is in partnership with NHS Scotland (main contact: Alison Brown).

Roberto Burguet
Professor Roberto Burguet
ESRC Rsearch Grant
The Edinburgh Team

The Team

Professor József Sákovics

Dr Ina Taneva

Professor Ludo Visschers

Professor Roberto Burguet

NHS National Procurement


Our study of procurement mechanisms will bring the theory closer to the issues that are relevant in practice and it will use innovative methods of addressing the problem of designing the entire process of tendering, from the first call to the signing of the contract(s). We are particularly hopeful about making progress on the judicious design of the information released to the bidders. We expect to find new insights that are sufficiently general so that they can be applied - directly or indirectly - in a wide range of procurement contexts, both public and private. Thus, our results could, in principle, be beneficial to the Ministry of Defence, the NHS, a city council or even to British Telecom and its customers.

The actual result of innovations could be, in the first instance, a cost saving for the entity that sources the inputs as the consequence of more competitive bidding. Additionally, it could also lead to a more efficient match between buyer(s) and suppliers, taking into account the multi-faceted objectives of many buyers. In other words, the average gains to be shared between a buyer and the chosen seller(s) will increase. Such a result should potentially also encourage further, possibly relationship specific, investments from the part of the relevant suppliers, which could feed back and increase the gains from trade yet again.

Our partnership with NHS National Procurement will be fundamental in achieving this objective. They will be both a source of practical experience and a test bed for our innovations.


Start date 1/1/2016
End date (project now completed) 31/12/2018
Total value of the award



  1. Burguet R., Iossaz E. , Spagnolox G., (2019). Cartels and Bribes. Working Paper (22 pp.)
  2. Justus Laugwitz, (2018). Renegotiation in Procurement - Dynamic Multidimensional Auction Design.
  3. Taneva, I., (2019). Information Design. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics
  4. Mathevet, L, Perego, J, & Taneva, I.. (2019). On Information Design in Games. Journal of Political Economy
  5. Bru Ll, Cardona D, Sakovics J. (2018). Block sourcing. Working Paper, issue 287, 37 pp.
  6. Burguet R, Sakovics J. (2019). Personalized prices and uncertainty in monopsony.Working paper, issue 290, 27pp.
  7. Burguet R, Sákovics J. (2019). Bidding for Talen in Sport.  Economic Inquiry, Issue 1.
  8. Lester B, Visschers L, Wolthoff R. (2017). Competing with asking prices. Theoretical Economics, Issue 2.
  9. Burguet R, Sákovics J. (2017). Competitive foreclosure. The RAND Journal of Economics, Issue 4
  10. Taneva, I, Mathevet L, Perego J. On Information Design in Games . Working Paper
  11. Burguet, R, Sakovics. (2017). Competitive foreclosure. Working paper, issue 279, 41 pp.
  12. Focus Paper 20 ( January 2017) - Jozsef Sakovics
  13. B.R. Lester, L. Visschers, R. Wolthoff. (2016). Competing with asking prices. CESIfo Working Paper Series, 44 pp.
  14. R Burguet, J Sakovics. (2016). Bidding for input in oligopoly. Working paper series, issue 266, 39 pp.

Knowledge exchange activities

Presentation by Prof Roberto Burguet entitled 'Cartels and Bribes' at the University of Miami seminar series, on February 8, 2019.

Presentation Roberto Burguet, at the Final meeting and results of the FBBVA Project on Digital Economics

Dr Ina Taneva presented her paper “Reasoning about Rationality under Incomplete Information” at the workshop on ‘Bounded Rationality Cognition and Strategic Uncertainty’, held at the Barcelona GSE Summer Forum; and at SAET conference, Taiwan, June 11-13, 2018

Presentation by University of Edinburgh PhD student Justus Laugwitz, "Renegotiation in Procurement" at OLIGO Workshop Piraeus on 1/6/2018; at UBC Vancouver on 25/9/17; and on 22/7/2017 at University of Loughborough

Professor Jozsef Sakovics presented "Block sourcing" at the Jornadas de Economia Industrial in a contributed session, 2018.

Participation in the ZEW Workshop on Market Design at the University of Mannheim by Prof Jozsef Sakovics, presented the paper entitled ‘Competitive Foreclosure’ on the 13 Feb 2017

Presentation entitled ‘Competitive Foreclosure’ by Professor Jozsef Sakovics, during the seminar in the Division of Economics at the University of Leicester on 3 May 2017

Presentation entitled ‘To the highest bidder’ by Professor Jozsef Sakovics in Venice on the 2nd of October 2017

A presentation entitled Monopsony pricing with bilateral commitment by Professor Jozsef Sakovics, in Padua, Italy on the 3rd of October 2017

Professor Jozsef Sakovics is a Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute, between 5/10-31/10/2017 where he presented Procurement with Bilateral Commitment

Taneva has visited Cambridge (March 2016), CSIC and UPF (May 2016), and Oxford (November 2016), where she has presented On Information Design in Games and discussed the topic of transparency in procurement with academics in the host institutions.

Sákovics participated in the annual conference of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics (September 2016) presenting the working paper Bidding for input in oligopoly (2016) and the Focus Paper 20 (January 2017).

Procurement Day, Wednesday 21 November 2018

10:00-11:15 - Prof. Eyal Winter (University of Lancaster and Hebrew University) - Raising Capital from Heterogeneous Investors

 11:15-11:45: - Break, with coffee and biscuits/fruit

 11:45-13:00: Dr. Daniel Monte (Sao Paulo School of Economics) - Costly Information Intermediation as a Natural Monopoly

Mini-Conference Videos

2018 Conference

2017 conference

2016 conference