Time Incentives in Public Procurement: Evidence from California and Minnesota

Speaker  Greg Lewis

Host  Markus Mobius

Affiliation  Harvard

Duration  01:06:24

Date recorded  22 May 2013

Most procurement contracts incentivize timely delivery, either through the auction mechanism or the contract terms. We evaluate both of these approaches in the context of highway procurement, using data from California and Minnesota. We show that firms respond strongly to incentives: for example, in California, when contractors compete for contracts on the basis of both price and delivery date, contracts are completed 30-40% faster. We simulate counterfactual outcomes under different incentive schemes, and discuss the practical implications of our research for the design of procurement contracts.

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