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

  • Dieter Boes
  • Martin Kolmar

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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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. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Baik, Kyung H & Shogren, Jason F, 1992. "Strategic Behavior in Contests: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 359-62, March.
  3. Roger B. Myerson & Mark A. Satterthwaite, 1981. "Efficient Mechanisms for Bilateral Trading," Discussion Papers 469S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1989. "Politically Contestable Rents And Transfers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 17-39, 03.
  5. 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.
  6. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Management of Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1185-1209, November.
  7. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
  8. Arye Hillman & Dov Samet, 1987. "Dissipation of contestable rents by small numbers of contenders," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 63-82, January.
  9. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 6726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Körber, Achim & Kolmar, Martin, 1996. "To fight or not to fight? An analysis of submission, struggle, and the design of contests," Discussion Papers, Series II 301, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  12. Edlin, Aaron S & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1996. "Holdups, Standard Breach Remedies, and Optimal Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 478-501, June.
  13. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Korber, Achim & Kolmar, Martin, 1996. " To Fight or Not to Fight? An Analysis of Submission, Struggle, and the Design of Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(3-4), pages 381-92, September.
  15. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
  16. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "On the Management of Innovation," IDEI Working Papers 36, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
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