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Self-Correcting Mechanisms in Public Procurement: Why Award and Contract Should be Separated

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  • Dieter Bös
  • Martin Kolmar

Abstract

In public procurement a temporal separation of award and actual contracting can frequently be observed. In this paper we give an explanation for this institutional setting. For incomplete procurement contracts we show that such a separation may increase efficiency. We show that efficiency can be increased by post-award, pre-contract negotiations between the award-winning seller and one of the `losing' sellers. Surprisingly, the efficiency gains can be higher if the award is given to a seller with a lower reputation for quality instead of to a seller with higher reputation. Under certain conditions post-award, pre-contract rent-seeking activities also increase efficiency. This is always the case if the procurement agency is corrupt, but may also occur in the case of lobbying.

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Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse5_2000.

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Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse5_2000

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Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

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Keywords: Procurement; Incomplete contracts; lobbying; corruption;

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Cited by:
  1. Dieter Bös, 1999. "Inefficient R&D in Public Procurement: Negative Consequences of a Separation between Award and Actual Contract," CESifo Working Paper Series 208, CESifo Group Munich.

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