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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
Location(s)
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.
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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
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is 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