Publications

  • Assessing the quality of government at the regional level using public procurement data

    This document has been prepared for the European Commission as part of a series of short papers on regional research and indicators produced by the Directorate-General for Regional Policy (WP 12/2017) Summary Based on previous DIGIWHIST research, we use a unique database of the EU-wide Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) which describes public procurement activities across the whole EU-28 between 2006-2015, […]

  • Law and Economics of Public Procurement Reforms

    Appropriate laws and regulations are essential tools to direct the action of procurers toward the public good and avoid corruption and misallocation of resources. Common laws and regulations across regions, nations and continents potentially allow for the further opening of markets and ventures to newcomers and new ideas to satisfy public demand. Law and Economics […]

  • Proxy indicators for the corrupt misuse of corporations – U4 Brief September 2017

    Winners of the U4 Proxy Challenge 2016 We need more imaginative ways of addressing corruption. It is important to generate indicators that development agencies can use. U4 and DFID developed a proxy challenge competition to inspire the research community to develop reliable, intuitive, accessible and cost-effective assessment methods that are useful across country-contexts. The abuse […]

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

    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 […]

  • Lights on the Shadows of Public Procurement. Transparency in government contracting as an antidote to corruption?

    Transparency is widely promoted as an essential condition for good governance, and as an effective tool against public sector corruption more specifically. Although the empirical evidence on the impact of transparency on corruption is growing, empirical evidence remains mixed. Recent critique holds that a main reason for the lack of robust empirical evidence is that […]

  • Uncovering High-Level Corruption: Cross-National Objective Corruption Risk Indicators Using Public Procurement Data

    Measuring high-level corruption is subject to extensive scholarly and policy interest, which has achieved moderate progress in the last decade. This article develops two objective proxy measures of high-level corruption in public procurement: single bidding in competitive markets and a composite score of tendering ‘red flags’. Using official government data on 2.8 million contracts in […]

  • Red tape, bribery and government favouritism: evidence from Europe

    Abstract Red tape has long been identified as a major cause of corruption, hence deregulation was advocated as an effective anticorruption tool, an advice which many country followed. However, we lack robust systematic evidence on whether deregulation actually lowers corruption. This is partially due to the difficulty of defining what is good regulation, but also […]

  • Quantitative Data Collection and Cleaning: Cleaned and Structured Databases

    The collection of public procurement related raw data is about understanding source systems, what data they offer and how the data can be obtained from a source (more details in our publication on raw data); to create a structured database we need to understand the data itself and store it according to a data template that […]

  • DIGIWHIST policy recommendations: Towards More Transparent and Efficient Contracting in the European Union

    Approximately 15% of the EU’s Gross Domestic Product is spent every year on procuring goods and services, and some estimates indicate that corruption increases the cost of government contracts by 20 – 25%. It is even more worrying that corruption in public procurement compromises widely supported public goals, such as building safe highways, high quality […]

  • DIGIWHIST Recommendations for the Implementation of Open Public Procurement Data. An Implementer‘s Guide.

    Based on our current DIGIWHIST research, Mara Mendes (Open Knowledge Foundation Germany) and Mihály Fazekas (University of Cambridge) have created a catalogue of nine recommendations for governments on how to best publish procurement data. Providing comprehensive public procurement information free of charge in an easy-to-use format to all interested parties is expected to increase market […]