I principali temi di ricerca del Centro sono:

  • Analisi del mercato dei fornitori
  • Contratti di Procurement
  • Corruzione nel Procurement
  • Global sustainable sourcing
  • Green e Sustainable Procurement
  • Impatto dell’ICT sui processi di acquisto
  • Procedure di Gara, Negoziazioni, Affidamento
  • Criteri di Aggiudicazione
  • Organizzazione del Procurement
  • Partneriato Pubblico e Privato e Project Financing
  • Procurement of Innovation
  • Servizi pubblici ed infrastrutture
  • Supply Chain Management e Supply Partnership
  • Vendor Rating

2017

Tender and Contract Design in concession contracts for local transport services

Andrea Carrubba 2017

Le gare ad evidenza pubblica nel trasporto pubblico locale su gomma: elementi di criticità e vantaggi di un modello improntato alla trasparenza e alla competitività.

Leniency, Asymmetric Punishment and Corruption: Evidence from China

Maria Berlin, Giancarlo Spagnolo and Bei Qin (2017-05-25)

Abstract: Leniency policies and asymmetric punishment are regarded as potentially powerful anticorruption tools, also in the light of their success in busting price-fixing cartels. It has been argued, however, that the introduction of these policies in China in 1997 has not helped fighting corruption. Following up on this view, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party passed, in November 2015, a reform introducing heavier penalties, but also restrictions to leniency. Properly designing and correctly evaluating these policies is difficult. Corruption is only observed if detected, and an increase in convictions is consistent with both reduced deterrence or improved detection. We map the evolution of the Chinese anti-corruption legislation, collect data on corruption cases for the period 1986-2010, and apply a new method to identify deterrence effects from changes in detected cases developed for cartels by Miller (2009). We document a large and stable fall in corruption cases starting immediately after the 1997 reform, consistent with a negative effect of the reform on corruption detection, but under specific assumptions also with increased deterrence. To resolve this ambiguity, we collect and analyze a random sample of case files from corruption trials. Results point to a negative effect of the 1997 reform, linked to the increased leniency also for bribe-takers cooperating after being denounced. This likely enhanced their ability to retaliate against reporting bribe-givers – chilling detection through whistleblowing – as predicted by theories on how these programs should (not) be designed.

Barriers To Public Procurement: A Review and Recent Patterns In The EU

Chiara Carboni, Elisabetta Iossa, Gianpiero Mattera 2 Maggio 2017

Abstract. The international dimension of public procurement has gained in importance in the last decade and has attracted the attention of economist and policy makers. A number of trade agreements were signed with the intention to remove barriers to procurement markets and favour entry of foreign firms and products. However, empirical evidence shows that, despite the existence of trade agreements, discrimination towards foreign firms still applies in a number of countries around the world. In this paper, we discuss the methodologies used in the economic literature for the identification of overt and covert barriers to public tenders and some empirical evidence from the EU, TED database.  We stress the importance of collecting high quality data for meliorating the ability of international traders to detect procurement barriers.

Marketing Agencies and Collusive Bidding in Online Ad Auctions

Francesco Decarolis, Maris Goldmanis, Antonio Penta (April 7, 2017)

Abstract: The transition of the advertising market from traditional media to the internet has induced a proliferation of marketing agencies specialized in bidding in the auctions that are used to sell ad space on the web. We analyze how collusive bidding can emerge from bid delegation to a common marketing agency and how this can undermine the revenues and allocative efficiency of both the Generalized Second Price auction (GSP, used by Google and Microsoft-Bing and Yahoo!) and the of VCG mechanism (used by Facebook). We find that, despite its well-known susceptibility to collusion, the VCG mechanism outperforms the GSP auction both in terms of revenues and efficiency.

Prizes versus Contracts as Incentives for Innovation

Yeon-Koo Che, Elisabetta Iossa and Patrick Rey (16 Mar 2017)

Abstract: Procuring an innovation involves motivating a research effort to generate a new idea and then implementing that idea efficiently. If research efforts are unverifiable and implementation costs are private information, a trade-ooff arises between the two objectives. The optimal mechanism resolves the tradeoff via two instruments: a monetary prize and a contract to implement the project. The optimal mechanism favors the innovator in contract allocation when the value of innovation is above a certain threshold, and handicaps the innovator in contract allocation when the value of innovation is below that threshold. A monetary prize is employed as an additional incentive but only when the value of innovation is sufficiently high.

Court Efficiency and Procurement Performance

Decio Coviello, Luigi Moretti, Giancarlo Spagnolo, Paola Valbonesi (26 February 2017)

Abstract: Disputes over penalties for breaching a contract are often resolved in court. A simple model illustrates how inefficient courts can sway public buyers from enforcing a penalty for late delivery in order to avoid litigation, therefore inducing sellers to delay contract delivery. By using a large dataset on Italian public procurement, we empirically study the effects of court inefficiency on public work performance. We find that where courts are inefficient: i) public works are delivered with longer delays; ii) delays increase for more valuable contracts; iii) contracts are more often awarded to larger suppliers; and iv) a higher share of the payment is postponed after delivery. Other interpretations receive less support from the data.

Comparing Public Procurement Auctions

Francesco Decarolis (February 24, 2017)

Abstract: This paper contrasts two auction formats often used in public procurement: first price auctions with ex-post screening of bid responsiveness and average bid auctions, in which the bidder closest to the average bid wins. The equilibrium analysis reveals that their ranking is ambiguous in terms of revenues, but the average bid auction is typically less efficient. Using a dataset of Italian public procurement auctions run alternately under the two formats, a structural model of bidding is estimated for the subsample of first price auctions. Counterfactual estimates of the efficiency loss under the average bid auctions show that this mechanism fails to select to lowest bidder in two thirds of the auctions and that the average production cost is one sixth higher than in the first price auctions.

Court Efficiency and Procurement Performance

Decio Coviello, Luigi Moretti, Giancarlo Spagnolo, Paola Valbonesi (26 February 2017)

Abstract: Disputes over penalties for breaching a contract are often resolved in court. A simple model illustrates how inefficient courts can sway public buyers from enforcing a penalty for late delivery in order to avoid litigation, therefore inducing sellers to delay contract delivery. By using a large dataset on Italian public procurement, we empirically study the effects of court inefficiency on public work performance. We find that where courts are inefficient: i) public works are delivered with longer delays; ii) delays increase for more valuable contracts; iii) contracts are more often awarded to larger suppliers; and iv) a higher share of the payment is postponed after delivery. Other interpretations receive less support from the data.

Maintaining Competition in Recurrent Procurement Contracts: A Case Study on the London Bus Market

Elisabetta Iossa and Mike Waterson (February 24, 2017)

Abstract: Under recurrent procurement, the awarding of a contract to a firm may put it in an advantageous position in future tenders, which may reduce competition over time. The objective of this paper is to study the dynamics of competition for tendered contracts, focusing on factors that may generate incumbent advantage. Particular attention is given to learning economies, sunk costs of entry and switching costs for the procurer. The paper then applies these insights to analyse empirically the evolution of competition in the market for local bus services in London.

Small Italian wine producers’ internationalization: The role of network relationships in the emergence of late starters

Francioni Barbara, Vissak Tiia & Musso Fabio (February 2017)

Abstract: This paper aims to examine how network relationships influenced the internationalization of small Italian wine producers characterized as late starters. It is based on four cases. It shows that foreign tourists helped these firms to expand internationally: they identified business opportunities, suggested firms to contact importers, contacted importers themselves to get access to the same wine in their home country or provided foreign market knowledge. Thus, small wine producers should pay more attention to attracting tourists and creating network relationship with them. Several other network relationships − for instance, with friends and relatives, Italian expatriates and other business partners − also advanced the case firms’ internationalization. Moreover, they were affected by lack of time and resources, language barriers and other factors. Thus, all these aspects also need managers’ attention. Furthermore, they should take a more strategic approach towards internationalization and understand that not all internationalization attempts succeed or result in continuous orders.

Repeated Procurement with Unverifiable Quality: The case for Discriminatory Competitive Procedures

B. Cesi, A. Iozzi and G. L. Albano (January, 2017)

Abstract: Unverifiable quality may affect the enforcement of procurement contracts even when the award procedure is able to select the most efficient firm in the market. In this paper, we show that a discriminatory competitive mechanism – which awards the contract on the basis of price and (firms') past performance – yields an efficient allocation of the contract and allows the buyer to implement her desired quality. Quality enforcement arises out of relational contracting whereby the buyer ‘handicaps' a contractor in future competitive tendering processes if it fails to provide the required quality. We study an infinitely repeated procurement model with two firms and one buyer imperfectly informed on the firms' cost, in which, in each period, the buyer runs a discriminatory auction. We restrict our analysis to the case of a buyer committed to her handicapping strategy, a case which captures some of the features of a public buyer. When players use either grim trigger or stick-and-carrot strategies, we find that the buyer can induce the delivery of optimal (unverifiable) quality with a variety of handicap levels and, when applicable, durations of the punishment period; for some values of the handicap and the length of the punishment period, both firms remain active in the market even when punished.

The economic costs of civil war
Synthetic counterfactual evidence and the effects of ethnic fractionalization

Stefano Costalli, Luigi Moretti, Costantino Pischedda (January 24, 2017)

Abstract: There is a consensus that civil wars entail enormous economic costs, but there is little systematic analysis of the determinants of their heterogeneous destructiveness. Moreover, reliably estimating these costs has proven challenging, due to the complexity of the relationship between violence and socio-economic conditions. In this article, we study the effect of ethnic fractionalization of war-torn countries on the economic consequences of civil war. Building on an emerging literature on the relationships between ethnicity, trust, economic outcomes, and conflict processes, we argue that civil wars erode interethnic trust and highly fractionalized societies pay an especially high price, as they rely heavily on interethnic business relations. We use the synthetic control method to construct appropriate counterfactuals and measure the economic impact of civil war. Our focus is on the years of armed conflict in a sample of 20 countries for which we observe an average annual loss of local GDP per capita of 17.5%, though with remarkable variation across cases. The empirical analysis provides supporting evidence in the form of a robust positive association between ethnic fractionalization and our measures of war-induced economic costs.

Sophisticated Bidders in Beauty-Contest Auctions

Stefano Galavotti, Luigi Moretti, Paola Valbonesi ( 19 Jan 2017)

Abstract: We study bidding behavior by firms in beauty-contest auctions, i.e. auctions in which the winning bid is the one which gets closest to some function (average) of all submitted bids. Using a dataset on public procurement beauty-contest auctions, we show that firms’ observed bidding behavior departs from equilibrium and can be predicted by a sophistication index, which captures the firms’ accumulated capacity of bidding close to optimality in the past. We show that our empirical evidence is consistent with a Cognitive Hierarchy model of bidders’ behavior. We also investigate whether and how firms learn to bid strategically through experience.

2016

“Favoritism in Scoring Auctions”

Riccardo Camboni Marchi Adani e Paola Valbonesi - 2016

Abstract: Scoring rule auctions (SRAs) can be a powerful mechanism to procure complex works or services, when quality matters. However, given the buyers discretion in the design of SRAs, favouritism - with its potential positive (i.e. repeated cost-saving interactions) or negative (i.e. corruption) e⁄ects on social welfare - can arise. In this paper we empirically document potential favouritism in an original dataset of 196 SRAs for the procurement of canteen services in Italy over the period 2009-2013. We then sketch a simple model highlighting how an SRA with multidimensional quality can be distorted to favour the incumbent bidder winning the competition. Finally, we design and run a new empirical test to verify our theoretical result. We nd that SRAs can be distorted to favour the incumbent bidder, and that the victory of the incumbent is associated with less competition and higher prices; and no e⁄ect by quality weight in the scoring function on the winning rebate. (155 words).

Public procurement with unverifiable quality: The case for discriminatory competitive procedures

Berardino Cesi with Gian Luigi Albano and Alberto Iozzi - 13th November 2016

Abstract: Unverifiable quality may affect the enforcement of procurement contracts even when the award procedure is able to select the most efficient firm in the market. In this paper, we show that a discriminatory competitive mechanism – which awards the contract on the basis of price and (firms') past performance – yields an efficient allocation of the contract and allows the buyer to implement her desired quality. Quality enforcement arises out of relational contracting whereby the buyer ‘handicaps' a contractor in future competitive tendering processes if it fails to provide the required quality. We study an infinitely repeated procurement model with two firms and one buyer imperfectly informed on the firms' cost, in which, in each period, the buyer runs a discriminatory auction. We restrict our analysis to the case of a buyer committed to her handicapping strategy, a case which captures some of the features of a public buyer. When players use either grim trigger or stick-and-carrot strategies, we find that the buyer can induce the delivery of optimal (unverifiable) quality with a variety of handicap levels and, when applicable, durations of the punishment period; for some values of the handicap and the length of the punishment period, both firms remain active in the market even when punished.

Local university supply and distance: a welfare analysis with centralized and decentralized tuition fees

Berardino Cesi with Elias Carroni and Dimitri Paolini - 25th April 2016

Abstract: We consider a two-city model in which two university systems may occur: a centralized system in which a social planner sets the tuition fee and a decentralized system in which universities are free to set their own fees. Within these two systems we also analyze two further scenarios, one with only one university and another with one university in each city. Individuals with heterogeneous innate ability decide whether to go to university according to the average ability (peer group effect henceforth), a tuition fee and mobility costs, if any. In the centralized system, the welfare is maximized by opening two free-of-fees universities, one in each city. This maximizes university participation and eliminates the impediment of mobility costs. In the decentralized system, whether a single-university or a two-university system is more welfare enhancing depends on the mobility costs. When mobility costs are sufficiently low, then having only one university is welfare maximizing. When, instead, mobility costs are high, two universities result to be welfare enhancing.

Pre-commercial Procurement, Procurement of Innovative Solutions and Innovation Partnerships in the EU: Rationale and Strategy

Elisabetta Iossa, Federico Biagi and Paola Valbonesi - 7th October 2016

Abstract: We consider alternative European public procurement mechanisms for acquiring R&D services and innovative solutions, focusing on Pre-commercial Procurement, Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions and Innovation Partnerships. For each of these mechanisms, we identify conceptually strengths and weaknesses. We highlight the role played by (i) economies of scope and externalities between R&D and large-scale production; (ii) degree of specificity of the innovation; (iii) role of SMEs in the market and level of market competition; (iv) risk of market foreclosure and supplier lock-in.
This article contributes to the literature on incentives in demand-side innovation policy by tapping into the contractual design features and by offering relevant implications for academics and policy makers.

Maintaining Competition in Recurrent Procurement Contracts: A case study on the London Bus Market

Elisabetta Iossa and Michael Waterson - 4th August 2016

Abstract: Under recurrent procurement, the awarding of a contract to a firm may put it in an advantageous position in future tenders, which may reduce competition over time. The objective of this paper is to study the dynamics of competition for tendered contracts, focusing on factors that may generate incumbent advantage. Particular attention is given to learning economies, sunk costs of entry and switching costs for the procurer. The paper then applies these insights to analyse empirically the evolution of competition in the market for local bus services in London.

Buyer Quality and Procurement Outcomes: Explorative Evidence From the US.

Elisabetta Iossa with Francesco Decarolis, Leonardo Giuffrida, Vincenzo Mollisi and Giancarlo Spagnolo - 23th december 2016

Abstract: We explore empirically the impact of buyer quality on public procurement outcomes. Using purchases data (Federal Procurement Data System) and survey data (Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey) from US federal agencies, we find that procurement quality is highly heterogeneous across different agencies and persistent over time. The qualitative aspect that better predicts procurement performance is the perceived degree of cooperation within the unit, followed by the presence of appropriate incentives. We then asses the main channels through which public procurer quality affects outcomes. We find that buyer quality improves the selection of suppliers and strengthens the association between the use of cost plus contracts and the negotiation procedure. Buonasera

Prizes versus Contracts as Incentives for Innovation

Elisabetta Iossa with Yeon-Koo Che and Patrick Rey - 10th September 2016

Abstract: Procuring an innovation involves motivating a research effort to generate a new idea and then implementing that idea efficiently. If research efforts are unverifiable and implementation costs are private information, a trade-off arises between the two objectives. The optimal mechanism resolves the tradeoff via two instruments: a monetary prize and a contract to implement the project. The optimal mechanism favors the innovator in contract allocation when the value of innovation is above a certain threshold, and handicaps the innovator in contract allocation when the value of innovation is below that threshold. A monetary prize is employed as an additional incentive but only when the value of innovation is sufficiently high.

Memory and Markets

Giancarlo Spagnolo with Sergei Kovbasyuk in EIEF Working Paper 16/06 ( March 2016)

Abstract: We analyze the effects of erasing past records on long-run outcomes in a dynamic market with heterogeneous sellers whose quality changes with time. Buyers leave positive or negative feedback on sellers with an information intermediary. When average seller quality is low, perfect records of past feedback lead to low information production and no trade in the long run. Limited records encourage information production and sustain stationary equilibria with trade when memory of positive records is short and memory of negative ones is long. The stationary equilibrium with the highest social welfare requires the memory of negative records to be limited.

Court Efficency and Procurement Performance

Giancarlo Spagnolo with D. Coviello, L. Moretti and P. Valbonesi, forthc. in the Scandinavian Journal of Economics (2016)

Abstract: Disputes over penalties for breaching a contract are often resolved in court. A simple model illustrates how inefficient courts can sway public buyers from enforcing a penalty for late delivery in order to avoid litigation, therefore inducing sellers to delay contract delivery. By using a large dataset on Italian public procurement, we empirically study the effects of court inefficiency on public work performance. We find that where courts are inefficient: i) public works are delivered with longer delays; ii) delays increase for more valuable contracts; iii) contracts are more often awarded to larger suppliers; and iv) a higher share of the payment is postponed after delivery. Other interpretations receive less support from the data.

Privatization and Quality: Evidence from Elderly Care in Sweden

Giancarlo Spagnolo With M. Bergman. P. Johansson and S. Lundberg, forthc. in the Journal of Health Economics, Volume 49, September 2016, Pages 109–119.

Abstract: Non-contractible quality dimensions are at risk of degradation when the provision of public services is privatized. However, privatization may increase quality by fostering performance-improving innovation, particularly if combined with increased competition. We assemble a large data set on elderly care services in Sweden between 1990 and 2009 and estimate how opening to private provision affected mortality rates – an important and not easily contractible quality dimension – using a difference-in-difference-in-difference approach. The results indicate that privatization and the associated increase in competition significantly improved non-contractible quality as measured by mortality rates.

Detecting Bidders Groups in Collusive Auctions


Francesco Decarolis with Timothy G. Conley in American Economic Journal: Microeconomics Vol. 8, No. 2 May, pp. 1-38, 2016.

Abstract: We study entry and bidding in procurement auctions where contracts are awarded to the bid closest to a trimmed average bid. These auctions, common in public procurement, create incentives to coordinate bids to manipulate the bid distribution. We present statistical tests to detect coordinated entry and bidding choices. The tests perform well in a validation dataset where a court case makes coordination observable. We use the tests to detect coordination in a larger dataset where it is suspected, but not known. The results are used to interpret a major market shakeout following a switch to first price auctions.

Allotment in first-price auctions: an experimental investigation

Paola Valbonesi with Luca Corazzini, Stefano Galavotti and Rupert Sausgruber - 23th March 2016

Abstract: We experimentally study the effects of allotment—the division of an item into homogeneous units—in independent private value auctions. We compare a bundling first-price auction with two equivalent treatments where allotment is implemented: a two-unit discriminatory auction and two simultaneous single-unit first-price auctions. We find that allotment in the form of a discriminatory auction generates a loss of efficiency with respect to bundling. In the allotment treatments, we observe large and persistent bid spread, and the discriminatory auction is less efficient than simultaneous auctions. We provide a unified interpretation of our results that is based on both a non-equilibrium response to the coordination problem characterizing the simultaneous auction format and a general class of behavioral preferences that includes risk aversion, joy of winning and loser’s regret as specific cases.

Benefits to vulnerable consumers in Italian energy markets: a focus on the eligibility criterion

Paola Valbonesi with R. Miniaci and C. Scarpa - May 2016

Abstract:  We discuss alternative approaches to define and measure the affordability of energy consumption. We then focus on energy vulnerability in Italy and on the benefit schemes that compensate households in needs for their spending on energy services. We identify the potential beneficiaries of these subsidies in 2012 and investigate if their eligibility criterion is effective in targeting public resources to families in a state of energy vulnerability.

 

2015

Quantifying The Impact of Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) In Europe Based On Evidence From The ICT Sector By Sara Bedin, Elisabetta Iossa and Francesco Decarolis-Study commissioned by the European Commission, DG Connect.

Abstract. Pre-commercial procurement (PCP) is a competitive multiple-sourcing procedure for procuring research and development services. It involves different suppliers competing in parallel through different phases of development. The risks and benefits are shared between the procurers and the suppliers under market conditions. The PCP is complementary to Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) that refers to a public procurement in which procurers act as early adopters of innovative solutions that are new arrivals on the market, but not yet available on a large-scale commercial basis. The objective of this study is to quantify the economic impact of PCP using a sample of PCP and non-PCP cases implemented in Europe. In particular, the study aims to estimate the impacts of PCP on the following aspects, which constitute our nine research questions (see also page 8): 1) Improvements in the quality and/or efficiency of the public services achieved by deploying the innovative solutions developed as a result of the PCP; 2) Increase in quality and decrease in prices of products resulting from the highly competitive multi-sourcing, phased procurement approach that distinguishes PCP from other procurement approaches; 3) Reduction in the risk of failure in large scale follow-up PPI procurements 4) Increase in the efficiency of R&D expenditures; 5) Speeding up time-to-market for firms and facilitating the access of SMEs to the procurement market; 6) Attracting financial investors to Europe; 7) Increased interoperability / impact on standardization / reduction of supplier lock-in; 8) Impacts on competition structure in the market; 9) Increased exploitation of IPRs and R&D results (IPR protected or not) in general.

For further information see the EC Digital Agenda website:

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/quantifying-impact-pcp-europe-study-smart2014-0009

2014

Appolloni Andrea, Hui Sun, Fu Jia, Xiaomei LI, Green Procurement in the Private Sector: A State of the Art Review between 1996 and 2013, Journal of Cleaner Production

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to identify the main themes of Green Procurement (GP) in the private sector through a literature review of papers published between 1996 and 2013 and to develop some future research directions. GP research has garnered interest from academics and industry alike. This is demonstrated by the increasing number of academic papers published in recent years. This literature review builds on the three themes in the adoption of GP identified from the literature: 1) the motivation and drivers for the implementation of GP; 2) barriers to the implementation of GP; 3) the performance impacts of the adoption of GP. Given that there are distinctive features of the private sector, compared to the public sector, this analysis focuses on GP in the private sector. The approach to GP holds important implications for managers, by directing limited resources towards projects which intersect both environmental performance and economic performance. The article discusses interesting findings, develops a conceptual framework of GP and suggests a number of directions for future research.

Francesco Rizzi, Marco Frey, Francesco Testa, Appolloni Andrea Environmental value chain in green SME networks: the threat of the Abilene paradox, Journal of Cleaner Production

Abstract: Demand-side policies are an important complement to subsidies in fostering green product/service markets. Green Public Procurement (GPP), in particular, presents valuable characteristics in terms of directionality, volumes and measurability. Despite being widely analysed from a public perspective, GPP development is still under-explored from a corporate point of view. To shed some light on the strategic attitude of firms towards GPP, this paper discusses an exploratory research in the field of road construction. An inductive analysis of direct observations and theoretical contributions suggests the potential for the so-called “Abilene paradox” to hamper GPP opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises. In fact, in times of crisis, increased pressures to improve performance and reduce risk, resistance to change and strategic myopia can easily impair inter-organizational interactions and thus prevent potentially innovative networks from pressuring public investments in green supply chains. The related policy suggestions represent a first attempt to enter the realm of systemic approaches to http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652614009287

Iossa Elisabetta, Yeon-Koon Che, Patrick Rey; Prizes vs contract as reward for innovation preliminary-Columbia, Roma II, TSE-CRESSE

Iossa Elisabetta, Contract and Procurement Design for PPPs in Highways: the Road Ahead 06/01/2014

Abstract: Nel lavoro “Contract and Procurement Design for PPPs in Highways: the Road Ahead” di Elisabetta Iossa si esamina la prassi internazionale nelle concessioni autostradali, alla luce della teoria economica degli incentivi , del procurement e della regolamentazione .
Il lavoro inizia descrivendo sistemi alternativi di pedaggio autostradale dove le tariffe sono condizionate all’ora del giorno, al giorno della settimana, alla frequenza di utilizzo, al livello di traffico, etc. Si nota come i pedaggi autostradali debbano perseguire obiettivi contrastanti, quali l’efficienza allocativa e l’equità, l’accesso universale, la competitività e la copertura finanziaria dell’investimento, e si sottolinea come la modulazione tariffaria possa essere uno strumento utile a perseguire al meglio questi diversi obiettivi. Si analizzano poi diverse modalità di finanziamento delle concessioni autostradali, tra cui il canone di disponibilità, il pedaggio reale ed il pedaggio ombra, e si analizza il loro impatto sull’allocazione del rischio di traffico, sugli incentivi del concessionario, sul costo del capitale e sulla probabilità di eventuali rinegoziazioni contrattuali.
Il lavoro prosegue discutendo alcuni dei meccanismi attualmente utilizzati per la regolazione tariffaria, mettendo in guardia contro quei sistemi che trasferiscono il rischio di traffico agli utenti e che si discostano dai principi di regolamentazione basati sul sistema del price cap. Si ricorda quanto sia opportuno trasferire parte del rischio di traffico al concessionario, ma si osserva che il livello di trasferimento del rischio dovrebbe essere inferiore all'inizio del contratto, soprattutto per i progetti greenfield dove poche informazioni sono inizialmente disponibili .
Si discutono quindi i sistemi di procurement, focalizzando l’attenzione sulle distorsioni che le previsioni di future rinegoziazioni contrattuali introducono in fase di gara. Si sottolinea come la concorrenza nel mercato per le concessioni autostradali possa svilupparsi adeguatamente solo in contesti nazionali dove le istituzioni politiche e regolatorie sono forti e competenti, dove non vi è interferenza politica in materia di regolamentazione, e dove le condizioni contrattuali sono standardizzate e rispettate durante l’intera durata del contratto.


Iossa Elisabetta,[University of Tor Vergata, Italy and CEPR, United Kindgom] was submitted as background material for Item VIII at the 57th meeting of Working Party No. 2 on 16 June 2014.

Abstract: Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) have been implemented widely around the world to build and manage public infrastructures in sectors such as water, transports, energy, and telecommunications and, more recently, education, health, prisons, and waste. Key aspects of their design are task bundling, long-term contracting, private finance and risk transfer.
In this paper, we briefly discuss how these characteristics constitute the main drivers behind the potential efficiency improvement that PPP may bring about, once an efficient private partner has been selected at competitive conditions. However, we also highlight why these very same factors may affect the extent to which competition for the market can function effectively.

Nicola Dimitri Department of Political Economy and Statistics University of Siena Italy Impact assessment on rules concerning third  countries’ reciprocal access to EU public  procurement Game theory considerations on third countries’ reciprocal access rules to EU public procurement Research paper

Abstract: Focusing  on  some  main  strategic  themes, underlying  the  EU  and third  countries  interaction  in  public  procurement  markets  (PPM), within a very stylised game theory framework a main message of the paper  suggests  that  open  PPM  may  be  more  likely  when,  in  the parties’  negotiations,  the  perspective  of  contracting authorities prevails  on  that  of  the  business  firms.  We  then  discuss  conditions under  which  also  a  business  firms’  perspective  may  enhance reciprocated  open  PPM. Based  on  the  analysis  the  paper  ends  with remarks on the likelihood of third countries retaliation, following the EU policy measures ruling access of external companies in its PPM.

Linee Guida 2014

2013

Iossa Elisabetta, The Simple Micro-Economics of Public Private Partnerships, with David Martimort, CEIS, Discussion Papers,139, 2013. Journal of Public Economic Theory, Forthcoming

Abstract: We build on the existing literature in Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to analyze the main incentive issues in PPPs and the shape of optimal contracts in those contexts. We present a basic model of procurement in a multi-task environment in which a risk averse fi rm chooses non-contractible e fforts in cost reduction and quality improvement. We fi rst consider the eff ect on incentives and risk transfer of bundling building and management stages into a single contract, allowing for di fferent assumptions on feasible contracts and information available to the government. Then we extend the model in novel directions. We study the relationship between the operator and its fi nanciers and the impact of private fi nance. We discuss the trade-off between incentive and flexibility in PPP agreements and the dynamics of PPPs, including cost overruns. We also consider how institutions, and specifi cally the risk of regulatory opportunism, aff ects contract design and incentives. The conclusion summarizes policy implications on the desirability of PPPs.
Keywords: Public-private partnerships, public-service provision.

Iossa Elisabetta, Building Reputation for Contract Renewal: Implications for Performance Dynamic and Contract duration,’ with Patrick Rey. CEPR Discussion Paper 9571, 2013; Journal of the European Economic Association. Forthcoming.

Abstract: We study how career concerns affect the dynamics of incentives in a multi-period contract, when the agent’s productivity is a stochastic function of his past productivity and investment. We show that incentives are stronger and performance is higher when the contract approaches its expiry date. Contrary to common wisdom, long-term contracts may strengthen reputational effects whereas short-term contracting may be optimal when investment has persistent, long-term effects.

Spagnolo Giancarlo, "The Distortionary Effects of Fines Based on Revenue”, with V. Bageri and Y. Katsoulakos, forthcoming in the The Economic Journal.

Abstract: In most jurisdictions, antitrust fines are based on affected commerce  rather than on collusive profits, and in some others, caps on fines are introduced based on total firm sales rather than on affected commerce. We uncover a number of distortions that these policies generate, propose simple models to characterize their comparative static properties, and quantify them with simulations based on market data. We conclude by discussing the obvious need to depart from these distortive rules-of-thumb that appear to have the potential to substantially reduce social welfare.

Spagnolo Giancarlo, “Competition Policy and Productivity Growth: an Empirical Assessment”, with P. Buccirossi,T. Duso, C. Vitale and L. Ciari, forthcoming in the Review of Economics and Statistics

Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the effectiveness of competition policy by estimating its impact on Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth for 22 industries in 12 OECD countries over the period 1995-2005. We find a robust positive and significant effect of competition policy as measured by newly created indexes. We provide several arguments and results based on instrumental variables estimators and non-linearities to support the claim that the established link can be interpreted in a causal way. At a disaggregated level, the effect on TFP growth is particularly strong for specific aspects of competition policy related to its institutional set up and antitrust activities (rather than merger control). The effect is strengthened by good legal systems, suggesting complementarities between competition policy and the efficiency of law enforcement institutions.

Spagnolo Giancarlo, Privatization and Quality: Evidence from Elderly Care in Sweden with Lundberg, Sofia Umeå University, Bergman, Mats A. Södertörn University

Abstract: Many quality dimensions are hard to contract upon and are at risk of degradation when services are procured rather than produced in-house. However, procurement may foster performance-improving innovation. We assemble a large data set on elderly care services in Sweden between 1990 and 2009, including survival rates - our measure of non-contractible quality - and subjectively perceived quality of service. We estimate how procurement from private providers affects these measures using a difference-in-difference approach. The results indicate that procurement significantly increases non-contractible quality as measured by survival rate, reduces the cost per resident but does not affect subjectively perceived quality.

Valbonesi Paola, “Time overruns as opportunistic behavior in public procurement”, in Journal of Economics, (2013), forthcoming, (with C. D’Alpaos, M. Moretto and S. Vergalli).

Abstract: This paper considers the supplier’s strategic delivery lead time in a public procurement setting as the result of the firm’s opportunistic behavior on the optimal investment timing. In the presence of uncertainty on construction costs, we model the supplier’s option to defer the contract’s execution as a Put Option. We include in the model both the discretion of the court of law in enforcing contractual clauses (i.e. a penalty for delays) and the "quality" of the judicial system. Then, we calibrate the model using parameters that mimic the Italian procurement for public works and calculate the maximum amount that a firm is "willing to pay" (per day) to postpone the delivery date and infringe the contract provisions. Our results show that the incentive to delay is greater the higher the construction costs and their volatility, and the weaker the penalty enforcement by the courts of law.

Valbonesi Paola, "Aiding car producers in the EU: money in search for a strategy, in Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade “, (2013), 13(1): 67-87. (with M. Nicolini e C. Scarpa).

Abstract: This article investigates how the general principles of the Treaty have been applied to the car sector in the EU, where the soft law provisions are of particular interest. A detailed quantitative analysis from 1990 to 2008 highlights a reduction of aid over time. A shift from sectoral to “regional development” motives in granting aid to the sector is also observed in the last 10 years. However, sector specific aid is now less explicit but it remains important. Large amounts of public money are spent without a consistent strategy, reducing capacity in some cases, expanding it in others. The scarcity of public funds calls for a more focussed European policy for this industry.

Valbonesi Paola, Subcontracting in Public Procurement: An Empirical Investigation (with Luigi Moretti)

Abstract: We have assembled a new dataset and we have empirically investigated the effects of subcontracting on the bidding price in auctions for the awarding of public contracts in Italy. The required qualification for firms aiming to bid for Italian public contracts determines different subcontracting formats: according to this system, bidding firms can be classified as either partially or fully qualified to complete a tendered project. The former are obliged to allocate certain tasks involved in the contract to other qualified firms, giving rise to a mandatory subcontracting. The latter are free to choose whether or not to subcontract some tasks to similarly qualified firms, adopting an optional subcontracting. We find that firms in a position to choose whether to subcontract or not generally offer lower prices than those firms which must proceed with mandatory subcontracts. This result, which holds true after controlling for auction characteristics, firms fixed effects, and characteristics of the subcontract, indicates that firms apply different prices to different subcontracting strategies in the public procurement supply chain.

Decarolis Francesco, Detecting Bidders Groups in Collusive Auctions (with Timothy G. Conley) February 15, 2013

Abstract: We study entry and bidding in procurement auctions where contracts are awarded to the bid closest to a trimmed average bid. We characterize equilibrium under competition and show that it is weak due to strong incentives for cooperation. We present statistical cooperation tests motivated by how a coalition bids to manipulate the mechanism. We show that our tests perform well in a validation dataset with known cartels. We also use them to investigate cooperation in a larger dataset where cartels are suspected but not known. We detect several suspiciously cooperative groups with potentially substantial, positive eff ects upon auctioneers' revenues.

Decarolis Francesco. “Awarding Price, Contract Performance and Bids Screening: Evidence from Procurement Auctions,” forthcoming at the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (2013).

Abstract: This paper presents evidence on the perverse trade-o that rst price auctions induce between low prices at the awarding stage and poor ex post performance when bids are not binding commitments. By exploiting the di erent timing with which rst price auctions were introduced in Italy to procure public works, this study nds that at least half of the cost savings from lower winning prices are lost because of ex post renegotiation. Screening the lowest price bid for its responsiveness prevents performance worsening but also reduces the initial cost savings by a third and induces delays in awarding the contract. JEL: L22, L74, D44, D82, H57. Keywords: Procurement, Auctions, Renegotiation, Di erence-in-Di erences.

Decarolis Francesco, Introduction to Public Procurement’s Place in the World: The Charge Toward Sustainability and Innovation (with M. Frey). Special issue of the Rivista di Politica Economica, April/June, 2013, edited by F. Decarolis and M. Frey.

Abstract: The seven essays in this volume address different issues related to green and innovation procurement as well as more general challenges in public procurement. These studies address both general, abstract problems of optimal public procurement and concrete cases of national or even local public procurement systems.The evidence that they present covers a broad spectrum of countries including Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands and several African countries. Reflecting the different expertise of the authors, the studies draw from the Economics, Engineering, Law and Organization approaches to public procurement and use both theoretical and empirical methods. We divided these studies into three groups on the basis of their main topic area: green procurement, innovation procurement and challenges in public procurement.

Decarolis Francesco, “Favouritism and Inefficiency in Procurement: Evidence from Public Works in Italy,” (with C. Giorgiantonio) Rivista di Politica Economica, April/June, 2013, pp. 161-190.

Abstract: This paper shows how favoritism in public procurement can emerge despite the use of rigid procedures for awarding contracts and of transparent criteria for allowing firms to bid. The paper analyzes data on the awarding of public works in Italy to illustrate how differences in fine regulation details across Italian local administrations have major implications in terms of favoritism toward local contractors and the overall efficiency of the procurement process. The findings are a cautionary tale about the benefits and risks of a decentralized procurement regulation and a warning about the problems facing green and innovation procurement.

Decarolis Francesco, Awarding Price, Contract Performance and Bids Screening: Evidence from Procurement Auctions March 27, 2013 JEL: L22, L74, D44, D82, H57 Keywords: Procurement, Auctions, Renegotiation, Di erence-in-Di erences

Abstract: This paper presents evidence on the perverse trade-o that rst price auctions induce between low prices at the awarding stage and poor ex post performance when bids are not binding commitments. By exploiting the di erent timing with which first price auctions were introduced in Italy to procure public works, this study finds that at least half of the cost savings from lower winning prices are lost because of ex post renegotiation. Screening the lowest price bid for its responsiveness prevents performance worsening but also reduces the initial cost savings by a third and induces delays in awarding the contract

Appolloni Andrea, Baroma B., Bellisario A., Chirico A. (2013). Breakthroughs in the management accounting science: imaging a Balanced Scorecard thought by Lean Philosophy rationales. Transition Studies Review. (forthcoming)

Abstract: This paper aims at providing a proposal for a new way of conducting the balanced scorecard (BSC), assuming a model that fulfils the leading features of lean philosophy and designing a research strategy that could explain how to act for arguing a “Lean–Balanced Scorecard”. Management solutions inclined towards lean thinking try to solve contemporary worldwide market challenges by focusing on a virtuous corporate functioning, thanks to a shared philosophy that relies entirely on the minimization of any kind of waste: their main target is to achieve business goals in a way that is absolutely flexible and can be shared at any strategy level within the firm. In the transition towards new management accounting paradigms, might the use of the BSC enhance information processing, useful for spreading lean thinking all over the firm, and for testing its effects? Moreover, thanks to lean thinking, might we suppose improvements related to the BSC functioning, by streamlining that information processing? According to the literature, little is known about how to answer these questions. By answering them, however, we may find innovative solutions towards a better measuring process of firm success—especially from the perspectives of integrated management reporting activities in turbulent times


Appolloni Andrea and Mushagalusa Nshombo J.M. (2013). Public Procurement And Corruption In Africa : A Literature Review. Rivista di Politica Economica, Special Issue (forthcoming)

Abstract: Corruption is the major scourge of governments in Africa. This paper answers three questions: what types of corruption are found more often within public procurement in Africa? What are the major determinants of corruption in public procurement and what are the major challenges for the fight against corruption in public procurement in Africa? This paper examines the determinants of public procurement corruption in Africa, and finds that the economic, political, organizational and social determinants have a significant relationship with public procurement corruption in Africa, and proposes some challenges to consider in the fight against corruption in public procurement.

Appolloni Andrea, Ozeren  E.,  Ozmen  O.N.T.(2013). The Relationship between Cultural Tightness-Looseness and Organizational Innovativeness: A Comparative Research into the Turkish and Italian Marble Industries. Transition Studies Review,

Abstract: When examining the literature of cross-cultural field holistically, it can be seen that the dominant paradigm in the literature is based on values. However, in recent decades there have been growing criticisms against values in explaining cultural differences adequately and thus a new cultural dimension so called “tightness-looseness” has, once again, come to the forefront. The beginning point of this research is based on the assumption that cultural tightness-looseness, defined as strength, importance, pervasive and binding of norms within a certain community, which was previously examined on a societal level, might also have significant implications within organizations. In this regard, the ultimate objective of the research is to examine the validity and reliability of the construct in Turkish and Italian marble industries using a comparative approach, while considering the cultural dimension of tightness-looseness at an organizational level and aiming to explore its relationship with organizational innovativeness empirically. The survey method has therefore been adopted. The results and implications of the study are discussed in greater detail and recommendations for future studies made.

Appolloni Andrea, Delbufalo E., Cerruti C. (2013). Strategic and organisational determinants of performance in Italian management consulting firms. International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business. Vol.5, No.1/2, pp.78-97. 

Abstract: This study focuses on the determinants of performance of management consulting firms. These firms are successful examples of organisations whose ability to incorporate knowledge into the service provided to the clients is critical to their success. The study aims to explain the process by which specific strategic choices and distinctive organisational practices of these firms influence their performance in ways not found in other settings. Specifically, we propose that service and geographic diversification have a positive impact on the performance of management consulting firms. We also propose that partnership leverage, as a distinctive organisational practice developed to increase the retention and commitment of personnel, influences the performance of these firms. We test the theoretical predictions using data from a large sample of Italian management consulting firms and adopting a multilevel linear regression model. Our results support the hypotheses, provide interesting insights and suggest further research.

Dimitri Nicola, 2013 with Renda A., Vincze M., Telles P.,  Game theory considerations on third countries’ reciprocal access rules to EU public procurement, Expert report for the European Parliament.

Dimitri Nicola 2013, with Rosiello A., Fiorini F. A New Approach to Assess Drug Development Performance, (with A Rosiello and F. Fiorini), 18, 420-427, Drug Discovery Today

Abstract: This article suggests that successful innovation in biopharmaceuticals is strongly related to the ability of firms to move compounds forward along the drug pipeline, relatively to other companies, within the same therapeutic area. We used this intuition to build indicators of performance at the firm-level and use them to conduct empirical analysis that relies upon a comprehensive database. We consider the effect of various factors on drug development performance, including R&D funds allocation across therapeutic areas and the proportion of biological molecules in the drug development portfolio. Subsequently, we show that a correlation exists between our performance variables and the per-capita growth of biopharmaceutical firms' revenues.

Nicola Doni, Domenico Menicucci (2013). Information revelation in procurement auctions with two-sided asymmetric information. JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS & MANAGEMENT STRATEGY, pp. 1-25, ISSN:1058-6407

Forthcoming

Nicola Doni, Giorgio Ricchiuti (2013). Market Equilibrium in the Presence of Green Consumers and Responsible Firms: a Comparative Statics Analysis. RESOURCE AND ENERGY ECONOMICS, vol. 35, pp. 380-395,

Abstract: This paper analyzes how the interaction between green consumers and responsible firms affects the market equilibrium. The main result is that a higher degree of responsibility of consumers and/or firms may both increase and decrease the total abatement and the social welfare. In general an increment in the degree of CSR of a firm entails an increase of its total clean-up and a reduction of the aggregate abatement of its rival. When the rival firm has a high degree of CSR this second effect is stronger than the first and total abatement falls down. At the same time, when the degree of consciousness of consumers and/or firms is very high, responsible firms overprovide environmental quality: in such case a further increment in the level of social responsibility of a market actor may trigger an increase of firms’ total clean-up but a reduction in social welfare.

Nicola Doni, Domenico Menicucci (2013). Revenue Comparison in Asymmetric Auctions with Discrete Valuations. THE B.E. JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL ECONOMICS, vol. 13, pp. 1-33

Abstract: We consider an asymmetric auction setting with two bidders such that the valuation of each bidder has a binary support. First, we characterize the unique equilibrium outcome in the first price auction for any values of parameters. Then we compare the first price auction with the second price auction in terms of expected revenue. Under the assumption that the probabilities of low values are the same for the two bidders, we obtain two main results: (i) the second price auction yields a higher revenue unless the distribution of a bidder’s valuation first-order stochastically dominates the distribution of the other bidder’s valuation “in a strong sense” and (ii) introducing reserve prices implies that the first price auction is never superior to the second price auction. In addition, in some cases, the revenue in the first price auction decreases when all the valuations increase.

Nicola Dimitri Journal of public procurement, volume 13, issue 2, 149-175-summer 2013-"best value for money"in procurment 

Abstract: A gradual change on how to evaluate successful procurement, in both the private and the public sector has occurred in recent years. Indeed, in so far as economic efficiency is concerned from a price-only criterion for measuring success, decisions have shifted to a multi-criteria approach where various dimensions of quality, as well as price, are considered. The most common way to express such a shift is to say that procurement should deliver “best value for money” (BVM). That is, to award the contract, both monetary and non-monetary components of an offer are to be considered. Whether in competitive bidding or negotiations, BVM is typically formalized by a scoring formula, namely a rule for assigning dimensionless numbers to different elements of an offer, often expressed in different units of measurement. The contract would then be awarded according to the total score obtained by a bid. The main goal of this paper is to present a critical overview of some main themes related to the notion of BVM, discussing few typical forms of scoring rules as a way to formalize the procurer’s preferences.

 

MISSION

Il "Center of Research in Procurement and Supply Chain", Proxenter, svolge attività di ricerca interdisciplinare sul Procurement Pubblico e Privato e sulla Supply Chain, e promuove il dibattito culturale e scientifico su questi temi, collaborando con Governi, Istituzioni e Imprese.