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Building Political Collusion: Evidence from Procurement Auctions

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  • Coviello, Decio

    ()
    (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

  • Gagliarducci, Stefano

    ()
    (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between the time politicians stay in office and the functioning of public procurement. To this purpose, we collect a data set on the Italian municipal governments and all the procurement auctions they administered between 2000 and 2005. Identification is achieved through the introduction of a two-term limit for the mayor in March 1993: since elections were not coordinated across cities, and previous terms were not counted in the limit, mayors appointed right before the reform could be reelected for two additional terms, while the others for one only. Our primary finding is that one extra term in office deteriorates public spending. In fact, it decreases the number of bidders and, most importantly, the winning rebate. Interestingly, we also find that the probability that the same firm is awarded more auctions, or that the winning firm is local, increases with time in office. These results are compatible with the predictions of a model of favoritism in repeated procurement auctions, where time reveals collusive types, thus increasing the value of illegal connections at the expense of higher procurement costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4939.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4939

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Keywords: procurement auction; collusion; public works; time in office;

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References

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  1. Roberto Burguet & Martin K. Perry, 2008. "Preferred Suppliers in Auction Markets," Working Papers 355, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Joachim Voth & Thomas Ferguson, 2008. "Betting on Hitler: The value of political connections in Nazi Germany," Economics Working Papers 1183, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Hopenhayn, Hugo A. & Skrzypacz, Andrzej, 2001. "Tacit Collusion in Repeated Auctions," Research Papers 1698r2, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  4. Eitan Goldman & Jörg Rocholl & Jongil So, 2009. "Do Politically Connected Boards Affect Firm Value?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(6), pages 2331-2360, June.
  5. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
  6. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  7. Filipe R. Campante & Davin Chor & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Instability And The Incentives For Corruption," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 42-92, 03.
  8. Oriana Bandiera & Andrea Prat & Tommaso Valletti, 2008. "Active and Passive Waste in Government Spending: Evidence from a Policy Experiment," CEIS Research Paper 115, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Jul 2008.
  9. Federico Weinschelbaum & Leandro Arozamena, 2004. "The Effect of Corruption on Bidding Behavior in First-Price Auctions," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 180, Econometric Society.
  10. O. Compte & A. Lambert-Mogiliansky & T. Verdier, 2005. "Corruption and Competition in Procurement Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 1-15, Spring.
  11. Francesco Decarolis, 2009. "When the highest bidder loses the auction: theory and evidence from public procurement," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 717, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  12. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2009. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from the Audits of Local Governments," NBER Working Papers 14937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
  14. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  15. Davin Chor & Do Quoc-Anh & Filipe R Campante, 2008. "Instability and Incentives for Corruption," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22070, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  16. Ghosh, Parikshit & Ray, Debraj, 1996. "Cooperation in Community Interaction without Information Flows," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 491-519, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Luigi Moretti & Paola Valbonesi, 2012. "Subcontracting in Public Procurement: An Empirical Investigation," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0154, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  2. Mihaly Fazekas & Istvan Janos Toth & Lawrence Peter King, 2014. "Anatomy of grand corruption: A composite corruption risk index based on objective data," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1403, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  3. Decio Coviello & Luigi Moretti & Giancarlo Spagnolo & Paola Valbonesi, 2013. "Court Efficiency and Procurement Performance," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0164, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  4. Mihaly Fazekas & Istvan Janos Toth & Lawrence Peter King, 2013. "Corruption manual for beginners - "Corruption techniques" in public procurement with examples from Hungary," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1339, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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