Bureaucratic Competence and Procurement Outcomes

Discussion and Working Paper
Discussion and Working Paper

Bureaucratic Competence and Procurement Outcomes

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.

Decarolis, Francesco, Leonardo Maria Giuffrida, Elisabetta Iossa, Vincenzo Mollisi and Giancarlo Spagnolo (2018), Bureaucratic Competence and Procurement Outcomes, NBER Working Paper No. 24201.

Authors Francesco Decarolis // Leonardo Maria Giuffrida // Elisabetta Iossa // Vincenzo Mollisi // Giancarlo Spagnolo