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Centralized vs. decentralized procurement: Does dispersed information call for decentralized decision-making?

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  • Vagstad, Steinar

Abstract

Should the government procure equipment for its agencies or let them run their own procurement auctions? Suppose the agency has private information about product quality, but is inclined to favor local suppliers. Decentralization saves bureaucracy and "agency costs" (costs tied to truthful revelation of quality information), but leads to biased decisions (a discriminatory auction). I show that the costs accociated with discrimination may increase when the quality differences increase.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 18 (2000)
Issue (Month): 6 (August)
Pages: 949-963

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:18:y:2000:i:6:p:949-963

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1989. "Government procurement and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 291-308, May.
  2. Cabral, Luis M B & Greenstein, Shane, 1990. "Switching Costs and Bidding Parity in Government Procurement of Computer Systems," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 453-69, Fall.
  3. Vagstad, Steinar, 1995. "Promoting fair competition in public procurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 283-307, October.
  4. Nahum D. Melumad & Toshiyuki Shibano, 1991. "Communication in Settings with No. Transfers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 173-198, Summer.
  5. Melumad, Nahum D. & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1989. "Value of communication in agencies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 334-368, April.
  6. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1990. "Analysis of Hidden Gaming in a Three-Level Hierarchy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 301-24, Fall.
  7. Caillaud, Bernard & Picard, Pierre & Jullien, Bruno, 1994. "National vs european industrial policies : a contract theory approach," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9401, CEPREMAP.
  8. Greenstein, Shane, 1993. "Procedural Rules and Procurement Regulations: Complexity Creates Trade-offs," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 159-80, April.
  9. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
  10. Bolton, Patrick & Farrell, Joseph, 1990. "Decentralization, Duplication, and Delay," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 803-26, August.
  11. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Auction design and favoritism," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 9-42, March.
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