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Third-Party Opportunism and the Nature of Public Contracts

  • Marian W. Moszoro
  • Pablo T. Spiller

The lack of flexibility in public procurement design and implementation reflects public agents' political risk adaptation to limit hazards from opportunistic third parties - political opponents, competitors, interest groups - while externalizing the associated adaptation costs to the public at large. Reduced flexibility limits the likelihood of opportunistic challenge lowering third parties' expected gains and increasing litigation costs. We provide a comprehensible theoretical framework with empirically testable predictions.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18636.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18636
Note: LE
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  1. Pablo T. Spiller, 2008. "An Institutional Theory of Public Contracts: Regulatory Implications," NBER Working Papers 14152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert C. Marshall & Michael J. Meurer & Jean-Francois Richard, 1994. "Curbing Agency Problems in the Procurement Process by Protest Oversight," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 297-318, Summer.
  3. Bajari, Patrick & Tadelis, Steven, 2001. "Incentives versus Transaction Costs: A Theory of Procurement Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 387-407, Autumn.
  4. Spiller, Pablo T. & Urbiztondo, Santiago, 1994. "Political appointees vs. career civil servants: A multiple principals theory of political bureaucracies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 465-497, October.
  5. Marshall, Robert C & Meurer, Michael J & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1994. "Litigation Settlement and Collusion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 211-39, February.
  6. Gregory Lewis & Patrick Bajari, 2011. "Procurement Contracting With Time Incentives: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1173-1211.
  7. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, March.
  8. Fehr, Ernst & Hart, Oliver & Zehnder, Christian, 2008. "Contracts as Reference Points: Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 3889, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. George A. Boyne, 2002. "Public and Private Management: What's the Difference?," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 97-122, 01.
  10. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "The Politics of Government Decision-Making: A Theory of Regulatory Capture," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1089-127, November.
  11. de Figueiredo, Rui J P, Jr & Spiller, Pablo T & Urbiztondo, Santiago, 1999. "An Informational Perspective on Administrative Procedures," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 283-305, April.
  12. Anita V, 2007. "Efficiency and Bureaucracy," Working Papers 181, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
  13. Oliver E. Williamson, 2005. "The Economics of Governance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 1-18, May.
  14. Canice Prendergast, 2003. "The Limits of Bureaucratic Efficiency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 929-958, October.
  15. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
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