The Impacts of Political Donations on Public Procurement in Colombia

Last registered on May 30, 2024

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Impacts of Political Donations on Public Procurement in Colombia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0013709
Initial registration date
May 29, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 30, 2024, 5:46 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Stockholm University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Princeton University
PI Affiliation
Georgetown University

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2024-05-13
End date
2024-08-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
We explore the relationship between political donations and the allocation of public procurement contracts across multiple local elections in Colombia. By linking the universe of public contractors and the mandatory report of political donations by individuals and firms, our results demonstrate a long-term distortion in the contract allocation process attributable to political donations. We then introduce a novel experimental approach, to study how new mayors strategically react to different warnings about increased scrutiny of contracts given to their donors.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Gulzar, Saad, Juan Felipe Ladino and Juan Felipe Riaño. 2024. "The Impacts of Political Donations on Public Procurement in Colombia." AEA RCT Registry. May 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.13709-1.0
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Our partners will send warning letters to mayors in 876 municipalities in Colombia using publicly available data on public procurement and political campaign donations. The municipalities will be randomized in different treatment arms that will vary in the type of warning received. The base warnings will have the intention of reporting to mayors the legislation and regulations stablished in Colombia for hiring political campaign donors through public procurement. Variations in the treatment include adding to the warning an attachment with the list of donors reported by the mayor during campaigns, as well as multiple public procurement information about them. Also, a treatment variation consist of mentioning in the warning the possibility of sending the information to the Inspectors General Office or investigative media outlets.
Intervention Start Date
2024-05-13
Intervention End Date
2024-08-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Probability of donors receiving a contract, Value of contracts given to donors
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Probability of donors receiving a contract: dummy variable equal to 1 if donor received a public contract, 0 otherwise
Value of contracts given to donors: continuous variable for the value of contract given to donors. Equal to 0 if no contract has been received

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We randomize across municipalities the type of warning elected mayors will receive. The design consist on 11 treatment arms that vary in the type of warning elected mayors in municipalities receive

1. Control group: do not receive letter with warning

2. Placebo letter: receive a placebo warning

3. Letter + no list of donors: receives warnings
4. Letter + full list of donors: 3 + attached list of donors
5. Letter+ partial list of donors: 3 + attached list of donors excluding randomly a donor

6. Letter + government offices + no list of donors: receives warning and report information will be sent to government office
7. Letter + government offices + full list of donors: 6 + attached list of donors
8. Letter + government offices + partial list of donors: 6 + attached list of donors excluding randomly a donor

9. Letter + journalist + no list of donors: receives warning and report information will be sent to media outlets
10. Letter + journalist + full list of donors: 9 + attached list of donors
11. Letter + journalist + partial list of donors: 9 + attached list of donors excluding randomly a donor
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization was done in Stata
Randomization Unit
I. Municipal level randomization: municipalities
II. Donor level randomization (arms 5, 8, 11): donors within municipalities
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
876 municipalities
Sample size: planned number of observations
8,560 donors (roughly 9-10 donor per municipality on average) per month
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1. Control group: 108 municipalities
2. Placebo letter: 109 municipalities
3. Letter + no list of donors: 110 municipalities
4. Letter + full list of donors: 55 municipalities
5. Letter+ partial list of donors: 55 municipalities
6. Letter + government offices + no list of donors: 110 municipalities
7. Letter + government offices + full list of donors: 55 municipalities
8. Letter + government offices + partial list of donors: 55 municipalities
9. Letter + journalist + no list of donors: 110 municipalities
10. Letter + journalist + full list of donors: 55 municipalities
11. Letter + journalist + partial list of donors: 54 municipalities
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Institutional Review Board Princeton University
IRB Approval Date
2024-05-01
IRB Approval Number
IRB 16839