More information, better public expense? Analysis of relevant inputs purchases by the public sector in Uruguay during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last registered on June 15, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
More information, better public expense? Analysis of relevant inputs purchases by the public sector in Uruguay during the COVID-19 pandemic.
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005998
Initial registration date
June 14, 2020
Last updated
June 15, 2020, 11:41 AM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Universidad de la Republica

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2020-06-01
End date
2020-08-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This project's general objective is to provide evidence about the main quantitative characteristics of the purchases and contracts of the Uruguayan government in a particular decision-making context, such as the current health crisis. In particular, we want to identify and analyze how citizen monitoring affects the efficiency of spending. Expenditure inefficiency is understood as the systematic deviation of prices paid in comparison with the average paid by all government offices and market prices.
The main research questions that arise around this objective: What are the main characteristics of purchases of the most critical medical inputs to address COVID-19? Are there relevant differences in terms of prices between similar agencies?
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Ceni, Rodrigo. 2020. "More information, better public expense? Analysis of relevant inputs purchases by the public sector in Uruguay during the COVID-19 pandemic.." AEA RCT Registry. June 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5998-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-06-28
Intervention End Date
2020-07-05

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Prices paid in covid inputs.
Prices paid in other inputs.
Total expenses.
The number of purchases.
Sellers
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Prices

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We select those offices that made some purchases of medical supplies during the COVID health emergency (March-May 2020). Through a random process, they will be divided into two groups: treatment and control.
Experimental Design Details
Both groups will receive an email where we introduce our group that studies the public purchases process. In the second paragraph, we present general statistics on public procurement, giving examples from 2019.
This information for the control group serves as a placebo letter. The placebo letter does not present any specific statistics from the office or information on health expenditures. The letter ends with a farewell paragraph saying that the purpose of the mail is to present our work to improve public procurement efficiency.
In the email sent to the treatment group, a paragraph is added containing information on the office's purchases in the period after March 13 (the day when the health emergency was decreed). The location of the prices paid for the selected inputs (masks, gloves, alcohols) in the general distribution of all public offices
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
public offices that made some COIVD purchase during the COVID health emergency.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
110 offices
Sample size: planned number of observations
500 health purchases 2000 other pruchases
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
55 treated
55 control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials