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Bureaucratic Competence and Procurement Outcomes

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  • Francesco Decarolis
  • Leonardo M. Giuffrida
  • Elisabetta Iossa
  • Vincenzo Mollisi
  • Giancarlo Spagnolo

Abstract

Does a more competent public bureaucracy contribute to better economic outcomes? We address this question in the context of the US federal procurement of services and works by combining contract-level data on procurement performance and bureau-level data on competence and workforce characteristics. Using an instrumental variable strategy, we find that an increase in bureau competence causes a significant and economically important reduction in: i) delays, ii) cost overruns, and iii) number of renegotiations. Cooperation within the office appears to be a key driver of the findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Decarolis & Leonardo M. Giuffrida & Elisabetta Iossa & Vincenzo Mollisi & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2018. "Bureaucratic Competence and Procurement Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 24201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24201
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    Cited by:

    1. Erica Bosio & Simeon Djankov & Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2020. "Public Procurement in Law and Practice," NBER Working Papers 27188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Adam Pigoñ & Gyula Seres, 2019. "On the competitive effects of screening in procurement," IBS Working Papers 08/2019, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    3. Tkachenko, Andrey & Esaulov, Daniil, 2020. "Autocratic governors in public procurement," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    4. Seres, G. & Pigon, Adam, 2019. "On the Competitive Effects of Screening in Procurement," Other publications TiSEM 78e45bf6-3a0a-46a0-9abd-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Andrey Tkachenko & Paola Valbonesi & Elena Shadrina & Gegam Shagbazian, 2019. "Efficient design of set-aside auctions for small businesses: an empirical analysis," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0240, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    6. 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).
    7. Seres, G. & Pigon, Adam, 2019. "On the Competitive Effects of Screening in Procurement," Other publications TiSEM 3314c398-ea79-4f74-96f4-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Jääskeläinen, Jan & Tukiainen, Janne, 2019. "Anatomy of public procurement," Working Papers 118, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Francesco Decarolis & Leonardo M. Giuffrida & Elisabetta Iossa & Vincenzo Mollisi & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2018. "Bureaucratic Competence and Procurement Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 24201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Leonardo M. Giuffrida & Gabriele Rovigatti, 2017. "Can the Private Sector Ensure the Public Interest? Evidence from Federal Procurement," CEIS Research Paper 411, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 20 Jul 2017.

    More about this item

    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
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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