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

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  • Dieter Boes
  • 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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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2000/wp-cesifo-2000-06/cesifo_wp302.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 302.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_302

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  1. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
  2. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 6726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  8. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
  9. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Management of Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1185-1209, November.
  10. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  11. Bos, Dieter & Lulfesmann, Christoph, 1996. " The Hold-Up Problem in Government Contracting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(1), pages 53-74, March.
  12. Aghion, P. & Tirole, J., 1993. "On the Management of Innovation," Working papers 93-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
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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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