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Flexible Strategies for Centralized Public Procurement


  • Gian Luigi Albano

    (Head of R&D, Consip, Italy)

  • Marco Sparro

    (R&D, Consip, Italy)


When designing a national public procurement system, the degree of centralization (or, equivalently, the degree of demand aggregation) is one of the most crucial as well as puzzling policy choices. Centralized procurement has been traditionally considered as an instrument to reduce public spending. In more recent years, though, and particularly after the 2008 global financial turmoil, a growing interest has arisen among both policy makers and researchers in government procurement as a lever to pursue broader policy goals, such as competitive markets structure, sustainable development and innovation. This paper reviews and discusses several issues related both to the rationales and to the practical implementation of centralized procurement strategies, with a particular focus on the procurement of goods and services.

Suggested Citation

  • Gian Luigi Albano & Marco Sparro, 2010. "Flexible Strategies for Centralized Public Procurement," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 1(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:pia:review:v:1:y:2010:i:2:n:4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gramlich, Edward M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1982. "Micro Estimates of Public Spending Demand Functions and Tests of the Tiebout and Median-Voter Hypotheses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 536-560, June.
    2. Lewis, Alan, 1979. "An Empirical Assessment of Tax Mentality," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 34(2), pages 245-257.
    3. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387, March.
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    6. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    7. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stéphanie Boulenger & Marcelin Joanis, 2015. "Analyse économique des marchés publics dans l’industrie de la construction au Québec," CIRANO Project Reports 2015rp-23, CIRANO.
    2. Massimiliano Ferraresi & Gianluca Gucciardi & Leonzio Rizzo, 2017. "Does purchase centralization reduce public expenditure? Evidence from the Italian healthcare system," Working papers 66, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    3. Strömbäck, Elon, 2015. "Policy by Public Procurement: Opportunities and Pitfalls," Umeå Economic Studies 915, Umeå University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    public procurement; competition; centralization; framework agreements;

    JEL classification:

    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement
    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy


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