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Bureaucratic competence and procurement outcomes

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  • Decarolis, Francesco
  • Giuffrida, Leonardo
  • Iossa, Elisabetta
  • Mollisi, Vincenzo
  • Spagnolo, Giancarlo

Abstract

To what extent 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. We use the death occurrences of specific types of employees as instruments and find that an increase in bureau competence causes a significant and economically important reduction in: i) time delays, ii) cost overruns, and iii) number of renegotiations. Cooperation within the office appears to be a key driver of the findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Decarolis, Francesco & Giuffrida, Leonardo & Iossa, Elisabetta & Mollisi, Vincenzo & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2019. "Bureaucratic competence and procurement outcomes," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-057, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:19057
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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. 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. 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".
    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. Tkachenko, Andrey & Esaulov, Daniil, 2020. "Autocratic governors in public procurement," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    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. Jääskeläinen, Jan & Tukiainen, Janne, 2019. "Anatomy of public procurement," Working Papers 118, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    8. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    buyer quality; competence; procurement; public management; state capacity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement

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