Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Individuals and Organizations as Sources of State Effectiveness

Author(s): Michael Best, Jonas Hjort and David Szakonyi

Publication Date: April 2017

Keyword(s): bureaucrats, policy design, Procurement, public sector organizations and state capacity

Programme Area(s): Development Economics and Public Economics

Abstract: How important are bureaucrats for the productivity of the state? And to what extent do the tradeoffs between different policies depend on the implementing bureaucrats' effectiveness? Using data on 16million public procurement purchases in Russia during 2011??2016, we show that over 40 percent of the variation in quality-adjusted prices paid-our measure of performance-is due to the individual bureaucrats and organizations that manage procurement processes. Such differences in effectiveness matter for policy design. To illustrate, we show that a common procurement policy-bid preferences for domestic suppliers-dramatically improves performance, but only when implemented by ineffective bureaucrats

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Bibliographic Reference

Best, M, Hjort, J and Szakonyi, D. 2017. 'Individuals and Organizations as Sources of State Effectiveness'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.