Administrative capacities that matter: organizational drivers of public procurement competitiveness in 32 European countries

Dr. Luciana Cingolani, Hertie School of Governance

In spite of the many efforts in the pursuit of a European single market, many barriers continue to lie ahead, as the field of public procurement illustrates. In 2015, around 40% of all high-value procurement tenders in a large pool of European countries attracted only 2 bidders or less, and only 3% of all winning companies had their offices outside the procuring country. This paper explores a rather unaccounted dimension behind the competitiveness of tenders: the administrative capacities of contracting authorities. For this, we first build a theoretically-informed multidimensional framework of administrative capacities and subsequently test the effect of these capacities on competitiveness, by using a comprehensive and curated database of more than 120.000 procurement contracts in 32 European countries. The findings show that most administrative measures robustly explain a portion of competitiveness, in particular administrative aspects related to the choice of instruments and procedures to conduct the bidding calls, such as electronic procurement. Findings also show that the behavior of these relationships is counterintuitive at times, and highly dependent on the national context, suggesting that organizational path-dependency undermines convergence under EU regulation.

About the speaker

Luciana Cingolani first obtained a PhD from UNU-MERIT at Maastricht University in 2014, with a focus on Governance and Innovation. In 2015 she joined the Hertie School of Governance as a postdoctoral researcher for the Horizon2020 Project “The Digital Whistleblower” on Open Data in public procurement in Europe. As of 2017, she acts as Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the Hertie School. Her academic work revolves around the topics of state capacity, bureaucratic quality, open data, eServices, and governance indicators. Beyond her academic work, Luciana has worked for the UNDP, the OECD Sigma project, and the French Development Agency on various governance projects in developing countries.

Venue: Conference room (0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 14 December 2017

Time: 12:00 - 13:00  CET