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Decentralization and Public Procurement Performance: New Evidence from Italy

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  • Olga Chiappinelli

Abstract

We exploit a new dataset based on EU procurement award notices to investigate the relationship between the degree of centralization of public procurement and its performance. We focus on the case of Italy, where all levels of government, along with a number of other public institutions, are involved in procurement and are subject to the same EU regulation. We find that i) municipalities and utilities, which currently award the largest shares of contracts, perform worse than all other institutional categories; and ii) decentralization implies lower performance only when it comes with weak competences of procurement officials. The evidence seems to suggests that a re-organization of the procurement system, both in terms of partial centralization and better professionalization of procurement officials, would help improve overall procurement performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Olga Chiappinelli, 2017. "Decentralization and Public Procurement Performance: New Evidence from Italy," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1704, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1704
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vagstad, Steinar, 2000. "Centralized vs. decentralized procurement: Does dispersed information call for decentralized decision-making?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 949-963, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Procurement; Decentralization; Procurement performance; Public works;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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