Bureaucratic Frictions and Innovation Procurement
Emilio Raiteri , Eindhoven University of Technology
Is work overload a friction to public agencies? Using data on R&D procurement, patents, contracting units, and individual officers from a US federal agency, we investigate how contracting officer workload impacts innovation procurement outcomes. Unanticipated retirement shifts in a contracting unit, which result in unexpected changes in the number of colleagues, provide an exogenous source of variation that we exploit as an instrument for workload. When workload declines, we find a large increase in patent rates. Holding the procurement budget and number of purchases fixed, one additional officer leads to a 2.5 percentage point increase in the probability that a contract will generate a patent, representing 28% of sample variation. We provide suggestive evidence that overloaded officers may not allocate adequate time to crucial contract specifications, resulting in poorer guidance to R&D suppliers when it is most needed.
About the speaker
Emilio Raiteri is Assistant Professor at the Technology, Innovation & Society group of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). He earned a PhD in Economics at the University of Turin (Italy) in February 2015, where he was affiliated to the Bureau of Research on Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge (BRICK). Between 2015 and 2018 he was postdoctoral fellow at EPFL (Switzerland). His main research interests are in the economics of innovation, intellectual property, and technology policy evaluation.
Zoom Link: UNU-MERIT Seminar Series with Emilio Raiteri
Venue: Room 0.18, Boschstraat 24, Maastricht (UNU-MERIT) and Online
Date: 09 November 2023
Time: 12:00 - 13:00 CET