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Effects of Transparency in Procurement Practices on Government Expenditure: A Case Study of Municipal Public Works


  • Hiroshi Ohashi



This paper examines the e?ect of improved transparency in the bidder quali.cation process, using the experience based on a case study of municipal public work auctions. It reveals that improved transparency reduces procurement cost by a maximum of three percent. This .nding is robust to the concerns of endogeneity, sample selectivity, and distributional assumptions. The bidding-function estimates, combined with features of Japanese procurement system, imply that the improved transparency limits abuse of auctioneer.s discretion, and thus weakens the stability of collusion among bidders.
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Suggested Citation

  • Hiroshi Ohashi, 2009. "Effects of Transparency in Procurement Practices on Government Expenditure: A Case Study of Municipal Public Works," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 34(3), pages 267-285, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:revind:v:34:y:2009:i:3:p:267-285
    DOI: 10.1007/s11151-009-9208-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Dakshina G. De Silva & Timothy Dunne & Georgia Kosmopoulou, 2003. "An Empirical Analysis of Entrant and Incumbent Bidding in Road Construction Auctions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 295-316, September.
    3. Patrick Bajari & Lixin Ye, 2003. "Deciding Between Competition and Collusion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 971-989, November.
    4. Porter, Robert H & Zona, J Douglas, 1993. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 518-538, June.
    5. Yoshiro Miwa & J. Mark Ramseyer, 2005. "Toward a theory of jurisdictional competition: the case of the Japanese FTC," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 247-277.
    6. John McMillan, 1991. "Dango: Japan'S Price-Fixing Conspiracies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 201-218, November.
    7. Nakabayashi, Jun, 2013. "Small business set-asides in procurement auctions: An empirical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 28-44.
    8. Federico Trionfetti, 2000. "Discriminatory Public Procurement and International Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 57-76, January.
    9. Atsushi Iimi, 2006. "Auction Reforms for Effective Official Development Assistance," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 28(2), pages 109-128, March.
    10. Martin Pesendorfer, 2000. "A Study of Collusion in First-Price Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 381-411.
    11. Evenett, Simon J & Hoekman, Bernard, 2004. "International Cooperation and the Reform of Public Procurement Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 4663, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1999. "Ohio School Milk Markets: An Analysis of Bidding," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 263-288, Summer.
    13. De Silva, Dakshina G. & Dunne, Timothy & Kankanamge, Anuruddha & Kosmopoulou, Georgia, 2008. "The impact of public information on bidding in highway procurement auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 150-181, January.
    14. Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eiji Yamamura & Haruo Kondoh, 2013. "Government Transparency And Expenditure In The Rent-Seeking Industry: The Case Of Japan For 1998–2004," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(3), pages 635-647, July.
    2. Estache, Antonio & Iimi, Atsushi, 2011. "(Un)bundling infrastructure procurement: Evidence from water supply and sewage projects," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 104-114, June.
    3. Atsushi Iimi, 2016. "Multidimensional Auctions for Public Energy Efficiency Projects: Evidence from Japanese Esco Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 49(3), pages 491-514, November.
    4. In Lee, 1999. "Non-cooperative Tacit Collusion, Complementary Bidding and Incumbency Premium," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 15(2), pages 115-134, September.
    5. Andrey Yakovlev & Andrey Tkachenko & Olga Demidova & Olga Balaeva, 2013. "An impact of different regulatory regimes on the effectiveness of public procurement," HSE Working papers WP BRP 08/PA/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    6. Atsushi Iimi, 2013. "Testing Low-Balling Strategy in Rural Road Procurement," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 43(3), pages 243-261, November.
    7. repec:kap:pubcho:v:172:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0444-x is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Balsevich, A. & Pivovarova, S. & Podkolzina, E., 2012. "The Role of Information Transparency in Public Procurement: the Example of Russian Regions," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 82-112.
    9. Andrey V. Tkachenko & Andrei A. Yakovlev & Olga A. Demidova & Irina O. Volmenskikh, 2014. "The Effects Of Regulatory Reforms On Public Procurement: The Case Of A National University In Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 19/PA/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:494-508 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Iimi, Atsushi, 2013. "Multidimensional auctions for public energy efficiency projects : evidence from the Japanese ESCO market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6485, The World Bank.

    More about this item


    Public procurement; Transparency; Discretion; Difference-in-differences; F14; H57; L13;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets


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