Information Frictions in Government-Firm Relationships
Last registered on February 07, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Information Frictions in Government-Firm Relationships
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005400
Initial registration date
February 05, 2020
Last updated
February 07, 2020 1:52 PM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2019-04-01
End date
2021-12-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Public procurement of goods and services represents the primary area of government investment, accounting for a large share of the GDP in low-income countries. As a result, its potential as a driver of private sector development is massive. Yet, frictions in the functioning of procurement markets can lead to low competition, potentially resulting in an inefficient allocation of resources. Our project aims to estimate various information-related interventions that have been conducted in collaboration with the Uganda Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), i.e. the national public procurement supervisory agency. We test whether the interventions affect competition, firm growth, resource reallocation, and several other economic outcomes.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Colonnelli, Emanuele. 2020. "Information Frictions in Government-Firm Relationships." AEA RCT Registry. February 07. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5400-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We conduct two interventions aimed at reducing information-related frictions on both sides of the procurement market. First, on the firm-side, we have two treatment arms aimed at (a) making information about tenders available in a timely and efficient manner, and (b) removing financial constraints and helping firms do business with new public entities. Second, on the government side, our treatment arm provides public entities with access to a large pool of data about potential providers.
Intervention Start Date
2019-09-01
Intervention End Date
2020-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our main firm-level outcomes are the bidding and winning behavior in public procurement (overall, as well as split by contract and buyer type), as well as measure of firm performance such as revenues, profits, and employment. Our main PDE-level outcomes are measures of competition (overall and new firms winning and bidding, HHI, share top X firms) and the quality/efficiency of executed contracts (delays, cost over-runs, audit outcomes, our own/expert quality checks, value for money a la Bandier et al (2009)).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We use strata for firm location (Kampala vs other), sector (works, supply, services), and size (above and below sample median). Out of 3,049 firms, 765 are allocated to T1 (tender information), 761 to T2 (financial/information nudge), and 1,523 to the control group. We use strata for public entity type (central, local) and for size based on number of contracts assigned (large, small). Out of 260 public entities, 131 are allocated to treatment (access to database of firms) and 129 to control.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization is done in office using Stata. We use strata for firm location (Kampala vs other), sector (works, supply, services), and size (above and below sample median). We use strata for public entity type (central, local) and for size based on number of contracts assigned (large, small).
Randomization Unit
The unit is the "firm" for the firm-level intervention and the "public entity" for the public entity intervention.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
3,049 firms, 260 public entities.
Sample size: planned number of observations
3,049 firms, 260 public entities.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Out of 3,049 firms, 765 are allocated to T1 (tender information), 761 to T2 (financial/information nudge), and 1,523 to the control group. Out of 260 public entities, 131 are allocated to treatment (access to database of firms) and 129 to control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
The University of Chicago Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2018-11-28
IRB Approval Number
IRB18-1475
Analysis Plan

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