Standard Deviation of Bids for Construction Contract Auctions

Pablo Ballesteros-Pérez*, Martin Skitmore, Alberto Cerezo-Narváez, Mª Carmen González-Cruz, Andrés Pastor-Fernández, Manuel Otero-Mateo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Previous research has confirmed that the distribution of bids for construction auctions can be reasonably modeled with Lognormal distribution. The location parameter of this distribution (the mean μ) has been found to have a good linear correlation with the bidders' cost estimates. However, the scale parameter (standard deviation of the bids, σ) remains noticeably difficult to anticipate. By analyzing 13 construction auction datasets, hard evidence is provided that the high variability of σ observed in construction auctions is mostly due to sample size (number of bids per auction). Moreover, we show that the coefficient of variation (σ/μ) of log-transformed bids follows the same χ2 distribution in uncapped auctions. This means the σ′s population value in similar auctions is nearly proportional to μ provided the bid price is not upper limited. Other findings are that more frequent bidders do not tend to bid lower, but their dispersion is narrower than sporadic bidders. These findings allow the introduction of important simplifications in construction bidding models, especially when access to historical data is limited.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04021096
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


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