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Individuals and Organizations as Sources of State Effectiveness

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Carlos Best
  • Jonas Hjort
  • David Szakonyi

Abstract

How important are bureaucrats for the productivity of the state? And to what extent do the tradeoffs between different policies depend on the implementing bureaucrats’ effectiveness? Using data on 16million public procurement purchases in Russia during 2011–2016, we show that over 40 percent of the variation in quality-adjusted prices paid—our measure of performance—is due to the individual bureaucrats and organizations that manage procurement processes. Such differences in effectiveness matter for policy design. To illustrate, we show that a common procurement policy— bid preferences for domestic suppliers—dramatically improves performance, but only when implemented by ineffective bureaucrats.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Carlos Best & Jonas Hjort & David Szakonyi, 2017. "Individuals and Organizations as Sources of State Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 23350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23350
    Note: DEV PE POL PR
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodrigo Carril & Mark Duggan, 2018. "The Impact of Industry Consolidation on Government Procurement: Evidence from Department of Defense Contracting," NBER Working Papers 25160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Andrew Dustan & Juan Manuel Hernandez-Agramonte & Stanislao Maldonado, 2018. "Motivating bureaucrats with non-monetary incentives when state capacity is weak: Evidence from large-scale," Natural Field Experiments 00664, The Field Experiments Website.
    3. Dustan, Andrew & Maldonado, Stanislao & Hernandez-Agramonte, Juan Manuel, 2018. "Motivating bureaucrats with non-monetary incentives when state capacity is weak: Evidence from large-scale field experiments in Peru," MPRA Paper 90952, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Francesco Amodio & Jieun Choi & Giacomo de Giorgi & Aminur Rahman, 2018. "Bribes vs. Taxes: Market Structure and Incentives," Working Papers id:12919, eSocialSciences.
    5. Carril, Rodrigo & Duggan, Mark, 2020. "The impact of industry consolidation on government procurement: Evidence from Department of Defense contracting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    6. Adnan Q. Khan & Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Benjamin A. Olken, 2018. "Making Moves Matter: Experimental Evidence on Incentivizing Bureaucrats through Performance-Based Postings," NBER Working Papers 24383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Hoekman, Bernard & Sanfilippo, Marco, 2018. "Firm performance and participation in public procurement: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 12752, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Barbosa, Klenio & Straub, Stéphane, 2017. "The Value of Revolving Doors in Public Procurement," TSE Working Papers 17-873, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised May 2020.
    9. Estache, Antonio & Foucart, Renaud, 2018. "The scope and limits of accounting and judicial courts intervention in inefficient public procurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 95-106.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy

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