Decarolis, Francesco Giuffrida, Leonardo Iossa, Elisabetta Mollisi, Vincenzo Spagnolo, Giancarlo
ZEW Discussion Papers 19-057
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.
buyer quality competence procurement public management state capacity