Third-Party Opportunism and the Nature of Public Contracts
NBER Working Paper No. 18636
The lack of flexibility in public procurement design and implementation reflects public agents' political risk adaptation to limit hazards from opportunistic third parties – political opponents, competitors, interest groups – while externalizing the associated adaptation costs to the public at large. Reduced flexibility limits the likelihood of opportunistic challenge lowering third parties' expected gains and increasing litigation costs. We provide a comprehensible theoretical framework with empirically testable predictions.
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