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Political Contestability and Contract Rigidity: An Analysis of Procurement Contracts

Numéro: 2015-2

Jean Beuve, Marian Moszoro and Stéphane Saussier – Political Contestability and Contract Rigidity: An Analysis of Procurement Contracts
Abstract: We compare procurement contracts where the procurer is either a public agent or a private corporation. Using algorithmic data reading and textual analysis on a rich dataset of contracts for a standardized product and service from a single provider, we find that public contracts feature more rigidity clauses than private-to-private contracts and their renegotiation is formalized more frequently in amendments.
We further compare in-sample public contracts and find similar patterns rising in political contestability using several measures. We argue that a significant part of the contractual rigidity difference between purely private and public contracts due to the specific nature of public contracts which are more permeable to the political environment.

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