IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/24201.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Bureaucratic Competence and Procurement Outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • 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
    Note: IO LS PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w24201.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jean Beuve & Marian Moszoro & Stéphane Saussier, 2019. "Political Contestability and Contract Rigidity: An Analysis of Procurement Contracts," Post-Print halshs-02057712, HAL.
    2. Imran Rasul & Daniel Rogger, 2018. "Management of Bureaucrats and Public Service Delivery: Evidence from the Nigerian Civil Service," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(608), pages 413-446, February.
    3. Becker, Sascha O. & Hvide, Hans K., 2013. "Do Entrepreneurs Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 7146, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Elena Krasnokutskaya & Katja Seim, 2011. "Bid Preference Programs and Participation in Highway Procurement Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2653-2686, October.
    5. Francesco Decarolis & Leonardo M Giuffrida & Elisabetta Iossa & Vincenzo Mollisi & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2020. "Bureaucratic Competence and Procurement Outcomes [“Politics and Economics in Weak and Strong States]," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 537-597.
    6. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2011. "The Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge across Time and Space: Evidence from Professional Transitions for the Superstars of Medicine," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 107-155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864.
    8. Pamela Giustinelli & Charles F. Manski, 2018. "Survey Measures Of Family Decision Processes For Econometric Analysis Of Schooling Decisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(1), pages 81-99, January.
    9. Sylvain Chassang & Juan Ortner, 2019. "Collusion in Auctions with Constrained Bids: Theory and Evidence from Public Procurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(5), pages 2269-2300.
    10. 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.
    11. Susan Athey & Dominic Coey & Jonathan Levin, 2013. "Set-Asides and Subsidies in Auctions," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 1-27, February.
    12. Eshien Chong & Stéphane Saussier & Brian S. Silverman, 2015. "Water Under the Bridge: Determinants of Franchise Renewal in Water Provision," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(suppl_1), pages 3-39.
    13. Dakshina G. De Silva & Timothy Dunne & Georgia Kosmopoulou & Carlos Lamarche, 2015. "Project modifications and bidding in highway procurement auctions," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2015-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    14. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2000. "Reputation Effects and the Limits of Contracting: A Study of the Indian Software Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 989-1017.
    15. 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.
    16. Jean Beuve & Marian W. Moszoro & Stéphane Saussier, 2019. "Political contestability and public contract rigidity: An analysis of procurement contracts," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 316-335, April.
    17. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
    18. Oriana Bandiera & Andrea Prat & Tommaso Valletti, 2009. "Active and Passive Waste in Government Spending: Evidence from a Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1278-1308, September.
    19. Patrick Bajari & Stephanie Houghton & Steven Tadelis, 2014. "Bidding for Incomplete Contracts: An Empirical Analysis of Adaptation Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1288-1319, April.
    20. Sean Lewis-Faupel & Yusuf Neggers & Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2016. "Can Electronic Procurement Improve Infrastructure Provision? Evidence from Public Works in India and Indonesia," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 258-283, August.
    21. Pablo T. Spiller, 2009. "An Institutional Theory of Public Contracts: Regulatory Implications," Chapters, in: Claude Ménard & Michel Ghertman (ed.), Regulation, Deregulation, Reregulation, chapter 3, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    22. Jeffrey B. Liebman & Neale Mahoney, 2017. "Do Expiring Budgets Lead to Wasteful Year-End Spending? Evidence from Federal Procurement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(11), pages 3510-3549, November.
    23. Janke, Katharina & Propper, Carol & Sadun, Raffaella, 2019. "The Impact of CEOs in the Public Sector: Evidence from the English NHS," CEPR Discussion Papers 13726, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    24. Papke, Leslie E. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2008. "Panel data methods for fractional response variables with an application to test pass rates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 121-133, July.
    25. Marion, Justin, 2007. "Are bid preferences benign? The effect of small business subsidies in highway procurement auctions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1591-1624, August.
    26. Patrick L. Warren, 2014. "Contracting officer workload, incomplete contracting, and contractual terms," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(2), pages 395-421, June.
    27. Joshua R. Bruce & John M. de Figueiredo & Brian S. Silverman, 2019. "Public contracting for private innovation: Government capabilities, decision rights, and performance outcomes," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 533-555, April.
    28. Coviello, Decio & Mariniello, Mario, 2014. "Publicity requirements in public procurement: Evidence from a regression discontinuity design," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 76-100.
    29. Spulber, Daniel F, 1990. "Auctions and Contract Enforcement," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 325-344, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Erica Bosio & Simeon Djankov & Edward Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2022. "Public Procurement in Law and Practice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 112(4), pages 1091-1117, April.
    2. 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.
    3. 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).
    4. De Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Decarolis, Francesco & Giuffrida, Leonardo Maria & Iossa, Elisabetta & Mollisi, Vincenzo & Raiteri, Emilio & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2019. "Buyers' Role in Innovation Procurement," CEPR Discussion Papers 13777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    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. Joshua R. Bruce & John M. de Figueiredo & Brian S. Silverman, 2019. "Public contracting for private innovation: Government capabilities, decision rights, and performance outcomes," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 533-555, April.
    7. Gabriel Natividad, 2022. "Decentralizing investment: Evidence from municipal organization after close elections," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 734-761, August.
    8. Englmaier, Florian & Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas & Wallmeier, Niklas, 2022. "Management and Performance in the Public Sector: Evidence from German Municipalities," IZA Discussion Papers 15676, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Giuseppe Francesco Gori & Patrizia Lattarulo & Marco Mariani, 2021. "The Expediting Effect of Monitoring on Infrastructural Works. A Regression-Discontinuity Approach with Multiple Assignment Variables," Papers 2102.09625, arXiv.org.
    10. Audinga Baltrunaite & Tommaso Orlando & Gabriele Rovigatti, 2021. "The implementation of public works in Italy: institutional features and regional characteristics," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 659, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    11. Cappelletti, Matilde & Giuffrida, Leonardo M., 2022. "Targeted bidders in government tenders," ZEW Discussion Papers 22-030, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    12. Rodrigo Carril, 2021. "Rules Versus Discretion in Public Procurement," Working Papers 1232, Barcelona School of Economics.
    13. 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.
    14. Giuffrida, Leonardo M. & Raiteri, Emilio, 2021. "Buyers' workload and R&D procurement outcomes: Evidence from the US Air Force Research Lab," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-059, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    15. Rodrigo Carril & Andres Gonzalez-Lira & Michael S. Walker, 2022. "Competition under Incomplete Contracts and the Design of Procurement Policies," Working Papers 1327, Barcelona School of Economics.
    16. Tkachenko, Andrey & Esaulov, Daniil, 2020. "Autocratic governors in public procurement," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    17. Clark, Robert & Coviello, Decio & de Leverano, Adriano, 2021. "Centralized procurement and delivery times: Evidence from a natural experiment in Italy," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-063, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    18. Florian Englmaier & Gerd Muehlheusser & Andreas Roider & Niklas Wallmeier, 2022. "Management and Performance in the Public Sector: Evidence from German Municipalities," CESifo Working Paper Series 10060, CESifo.
    19. Francesco Decarolis & Leonardo M Giuffrida & Elisabetta Iossa & Vincenzo Mollisi & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2020. "Bureaucratic Competence and Procurement Outcomes [“Politics and Economics in Weak and Strong States]," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 537-597.
    20. Visa Pitkänen, 2022. "Competition and efficiency in repeated procurements: Lessons from the Finnish rehabilitation markets," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(5), pages 820-835, May.
    21. Clarissa Lotti & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2022. "Indirect Savings from Public Procurement Centralization," CEIS Research Paper 532, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 01 Feb 2022.
    22. Jääskeläinen, Jan & Tukiainen, Janne, 2019. "Anatomy of public procurement," Working Papers 118, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. De Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Decarolis, Francesco & Giuffrida, Leonardo Maria & Iossa, Elisabetta & Mollisi, Vincenzo & Raiteri, Emilio & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2019. "Buyers' Role in Innovation Procurement," CEPR Discussion Papers 13777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Rodrigo Carril & Andres Gonzalez-Lira & Michael S. Walker, 2022. "Competition under Incomplete Contracts and the Design of Procurement Policies," Working Papers 1327, Barcelona School of Economics.
    3. Rodrigo Carril, 2021. "Rules Versus Discretion in Public Procurement," Working Papers 1232, Barcelona School of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. Ari Hyytinen & Sofia Lundberg & Otto Toivanen, 2018. "Design of public procurement auctions: evidence from cleaning contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 49(2), pages 398-426, June.
    6. Giuffrida, Leonardo M. & Raiteri, Emilio, 2021. "Buyers' workload and R&D procurement outcomes: Evidence from the US Air Force Research Lab," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-059, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    7. Francesco Decarolis & Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Leonardo M. Giuffrida & Elisabetta Iossa & Vincenzo Mollisi & Emilio Raiteri & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2021. "Buyers' role in innovation procurement: Evidence from US military R&D contracts," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 697-720, November.
    8. 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".
    9. Jääskeläinen, Jan & Tukiainen, Janne, 2019. "Anatomy of public procurement," Working Papers 118, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Erica Bosio & Simeon Djankov & Edward Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2022. "Public Procurement in Law and Practice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 112(4), pages 1091-1117, April.
    11. Philippe Jehiel & Laurent Lamy, 2020. "On the Benefits of Set-Asides," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 1655-1696.
    12. 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.
    13. Philippe Jehiel & Laurent Lamy, 2020. "On the Benefits of Set-Asides," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 1655-1696.
    14. 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).
    15. Nicola Branzoli & Francesco Decarolis, 2015. "Entry and Subcontracting in Public Procurement Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(12), pages 2945-2962, December.
    16. Audinga Baltrunaite & Tommaso Orlando & Gabriele Rovigatti, 2021. "The implementation of public works in Italy: institutional features and regional characteristics," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 659, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    17. Cappelletti, Matilde & Giuffrida, Leonardo M., 2022. "Targeted bidders in government tenders," ZEW Discussion Papers 22-030, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    18. Spagnolo, Giancarlo & Decarolis, Francesco & Iossa, Elisabetta & Mollisi, Vincenzo & Giuffrida, Leonardo, 2016. "Buyer Quality and Procurement Outcomes: Explorative Evidence From the US," SITE Working Paper Series 41, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics.
    19. Butler, Jeffrey V. & Carbone, Enrica & Conzo, Pierluigi & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2020. "Past performance and entry in procurement: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 179-195.
    20. Laura Rondi & Paola Valbonesi, 2017. "Pre- and post-award outsourcing: Temporary partnership versus subcontracting in public procurement," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0211, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24201. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.