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The Effect of Discretion on Procurement Performance

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Abstract

We run a regression discontinuity design analysis to document the causal effect of increasing buyers' discretion on procurement outcomes in a large database for public works in Italy. Works with a value above a given threshold have to be awarded through an open auction. Works below this threshold can be more easily awarded through a restricted auction, where the buyer has some discretion in terms of who (not) to invite to bid. Our main result is that discretion increases the probability that the same firm wins repeatedly, and it does not deteriorate (and may improve) the procurement outcomes we observe. The effects of discretion persist when we repeat the analysis controlling for the geographical location, corruption, social capital and judicial efficiency in the region of the public buyers running the auctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Decio Coviello & Andrea Guglielmo & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2015. "The Effect of Discretion on Procurement Performance," CEIS Research Paper 361, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 17 Nov 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:361
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    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Decio Coviello & Luigi Moretti & Giancarlo Spagnolo & Paola Valbonesi, 2013. "Court Efficiency and Procurement Performance," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0164, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    2. Baldi, Simona & Bottasso, Anna & Conti, Maurizio & Piccardo, Chiara, 2016. "To bid or not to bid: That is the question: Public procurement, project complexity and corruption," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 89-106.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Procurement; Restricted Auctions; Regression Discontinuity; Regulatory Discretion.;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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