Does Joint Bidding Reduce Competition? Evidence from Hong Kong Land Auctions

Jianfu Shen, Frederik Pretorius, Xin Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyses firms’ bidding behavior in auctions for development land in Hong Kong. The real estate market in Hong Kong is considered to be oligopolistic as it is dominated by a few top real estate firms, which have strong financial strength/development capacity and large land banks. Joint bidding is used by other real estate firms (“large” firms) to pool resources/capital in order to compete with the top firms. We test whether joint bidding increases or decreases the level of competition in land auctions, using land auction data in Hong Kong from 1991 to 2011. We find that large real estate firms are more likely to be successful than top firms at auctions when bidding jointly. However, joint bidding/winning does not harm competition as reflected by the number of bids, bids per bidder and number of bidders. Land prices also increase significantly in auctions won by joint bidders or alliances of large developers. Our results suggest that joint bidding enhances competition by allowing large firms to act strategically by pooling their resources and act aggressively to compete with the top firms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-132
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Real Estate Finance and Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019


  • Alliance
  • Bids
  • Competition
  • Joint bidding
  • Land price

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies

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