Public procurement (PP) is the purchase of supplies, services and constructions on behalf of government authorities as inputs for their daily activity, creation of public assets, and social transfers in kind to citizens. This category of public spending has been a topic of major interest in the last few years and has attracted the attention of both academics and policy-makers. This is because PP is:
- economically and socially relevant as it accounts for a significant proportion of the demand of the economy and includes critical challenges that affect citizens’ everyday life;
- increasingly used as an indirect policy tool by many governments;
- a playing field to study key economic phenomena (e.g. corruption, collusion, asymmetric information) and evaluate government performance.
The Junior Research Group “Public Procurement” mostly works on current PP issues that are at the intersection of public economics and industrial organisation. The main goals of its activity, thanks to the increasing availability of rich datasets, is the empirical evaluation of PP schemes – with the purpose of obtaining the best value for society (savings for taxpayers and/or improvements in service levels) – and policies that utilise government market power as an instrument for societal development.