“Can Electronic Procurement Improve Infrastructure Provision? Evidence From Public Works In India And Indonesia”. 2016. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 8 (3): 258-283.
This paper examines whether electronic procurement (e-procurement), which increases access to information and reduces personal interactions with potentially corrupt officials, improves procurement outcomes. We develop unique datasets from India and Indonesia and use variation in adoption of e-procurement within both countries. We find no evidence of reduced prices but do find that e-procurement leads to quality improvements. In India, where we observe quality directly, e-procurement improves road quality, and in Indonesia, e-procurement reduces delays. Regions with e-procurement are more likely to have winners come from outside the region. On net, the results suggest that e-procurement facilitates entry from higher quality contractors.