Improving Public Procurement: Field Experiments In Chile

This project investigates a number of avenues for improving the efficacy of public procurement in Chile. Interventions are grouped into three categories addressing different sources of inefficiency in public procurement: 1) the impacts of different auction design choices on auction efficacy; 2) approaches to improving contract execution ex-post and the potential spillovers to ex-ante procurement; and 3) reducing barriers to entry into public procurement to increase competition.In the first set of interventions on auction rules, we remind a randomly-selected set of procurement officers, through training sessions and electronic alerts, to use certain types of procurement methods for purchasing goods and services, and certain types of criteria for evaluating bids. In the second set of interventions, we randomly inform procurement officers, through electronic alerts, that the execution of certain contracts will be monitored, and in some treatments also suggest that they specify conditions for early contract termination. For the third set of interventions, we randomly provide some suppliers with support in terms of information, training and coaching to facilitate entry and successful participation in the bidding process, thus increasing competition with the goal of improving outcomes for the government. This specific proposal covers a pilot phase for interventions in all these areas, which based on the results of the pilot, will be refined for a subsequent large-scale impact evaluation.

RFP Cycle:
Fall 2014
  • Full project
  • Pilot project