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Small Business Set-asides in Procurement Auctions: An Empirical Analysis

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  • Jun Nakabayashi

Abstract

As part of public procurement, many governments adopt small business programs to provide contract opportunities for businesses often with preferences for firms operated by members of groups designated as disadvantaged. The redistribution arising from such programs, however, can introduce significant added costs to government procurement budgets. In this paper, the extent to which small business set-asides increase government procurement costs is examined. The estimates employ data on Japanese public construction projects, where approximately half of the procurement budget is set aside for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Applying a positive relationship between profitability and firm size obtained by the non-parametric estimation of asymmetric first-price auctions with affiliated private values, a counterfactual simulation is undertaken to demonstrate that approximately 40 percent of SMEs would exit the procurement market if set-asides were to be removed. Surprisingly, the resulting lack of competition would increase government procurement costs more than it would offset the production cost inefficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series with number gd09-126.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd09-126

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Keywords: procurement auctions; small business set-asides; structural estimation of auctions;

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Cited by:
  1. Klênio de Souza Barbosa & Pierre C. Boyer, 2011. "Competition for Local Public Services with Learning-by-doing and Transferability," Working Papers 06-2011, Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto.
  2. Hiroshi Ohashi, 2008. "Effects of Transparency in Procurement Practices on Government Expenditure: A Case Study of Municipal Public Works," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-548, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  3. Makoto HANAZONO & Jun NAKABAYASHI & Masanori TSURUOKA, 2013. "Procurement Auctions with General Price-Quality Evaluation," KIER Working Papers 845, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.

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