[gov3009-l] Applied Statistics - 4/27 - Dina Pomeranz

Aaron Kaufman aaronkaufman at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Apr 25 10:48:35 EDT 2016

Hi everyone!

This week at the Applied Statistics Workshop we will be welcoming *Dina
Pomeranz*, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Harvard
Business School and faculty affiliate at NBER, J-PAL, BREAD, CEPR, and IGC.
She will be presenting work entitled *Can Audits Backfire? Evidence from
Public Procurement in Chile**.*  Please find the abstract below and on the

As usual, we will meet in CGIS Knafel Room 354 from noon to 1:30pm, and
lunch will be provided.  See you all there! To view previous Applied
Statistics presentations, please visit the website

-- Aaron Kaufman

Title: Can Audits Backfire? Evidence from Public Procurement in Chile

Abstract: The government is the biggest buyer in the economy of most
countries. At the same time, the public procurement process if often
thought to be fraught with waste and corruption. For this reason, many
governments try to promote the use of online auctions instead of direct
contracting by public entities. We analyze the impact of audits aimed at
reducing such malpractice in public procurement on public entities'
subsequent procurement practices in Chile. For identi cation, we exploit a
scoring rule of the national auditing agency, which allows for regression
discontinuity analysis. Surprisingly, the audits lead to a shift away from
online auctions and towards higher use of the less transparent and more
discretionary modality of procurement through direct contracting. The share
of the value of total purchases through direct contracts increases by about
7 percentage points, at the expense of the use of public auctions.
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