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School of Public Affairs -- SciencesPo -- Public Procurement

This course introduces students to the recent literature of contract theories (Incentives, incomplete contracts and transaction cost theories) applied to public procurement tools.  A specific focus will be made on empirical analysis of public procurement: practical issues, empirical methodologies as well as what can be learnt from a managerial point of view will be addressed.


13 rue de l'Université

Room: S07


Class 1 –  Introduction (Slides) 

Date: Sept. 4th 2018,  12:30 - 14:30

In this class we will introduce public procurement definition and the different type of arrangements associated with public procurement (i.e. traditional public procurement, concession contracts, public private partnerships). What are we talking about? What are the different forms of public procurement? What is their size and impact on national economies? What are the observed trends? What are the available feedbacks? What is the link between public procurement and privatization issues?



Class 2 –  Public Procurement as a make or buy issue (Slides)

Date: Sept. 11th 2018,  12:30 - 14:30

In this class we analyze public procurement alternatives as a make or buy issue. We introduce transaction costs in order to understand the main trade-offs at stake for public administrations.


Class 3 –  Public Procurement and Incomplete Contracts (Slides)

Date: Sept. 25th 2018,  12:30 - 14:30

In this class, we will address the consequence of incomplete contracting in public procurement relationships as well as the role of property rights. How the property rights distribution might drive incentives to invest or innovate? What are the consequences concerning quality and the decision to use one type of public procurement arrangement or another?


Class 4 –  Public Procurement and Incentives (Slides)

Date: Oct. 2nd 2018,  12:30 - 14:30

In this class, we will address incentive issues at stake in public procurement. How adverse selection as well as moral hazard issues should drive the way public procurement is organized, especially the call for bids stage?



Class 5 –  The Political Economy of Public Procurement (Slides)

Date: Oct. 9th 2018,  12:30 - 14:30



Class 6 –  The Velib' case (Slides)

Date: Oct. 16th 2018,  12:30 - 14:30

In this class we will study the Velib’ case as an illustration of topics addressed in previous classes and more especially the difficulty to generate right incentives in an incomplete contract.


  • No reading but students must read about the Velib’ case before the class looking at newspaper article on this topic.


Class 7 –  The French Water Case (Slides)

Date: Oct. 23rd 2018,  12:30 - 14:30

In this class we will study the French water case as an illustration of topics addressed in previous classes. More precisely we will address methodological issues to compare public and private performances as well as the question of choice reversibility.



Class 8 –  The Specific Problem of Renegotiations (Slides)

Date: Nov. 6th 2018,  12:30 - 14:30

One of the main critic associated with public procurement contracts concerns the inability to make private parties respect their commitment leading to renegotiations. We will discuss the reason why such renegotiations are often unavoidable and sometimes useful.



Class 9 –  Public Procurement and Collusion (Slides)

Date: Nov. 13th 2018,  12:30 - 14:30

This class will be managed by Eshien Chong - French Competition Authority



Class 10 –  Green Public Procurement (Slides)

Date: Nov. 20th 2018,  12:30 - 14:30

This class will be managed by Carine Staropoli - Paris School of Economics



Class 11 –  Conclusion and Exam

Date: Nov. 27th 2018,  12:30 - 14:30


Class 12 –  The New European Directives (Slides)

Date: Dec. 4th 2018,  12:30 - 14:30





10% - Participation during classes

40% - Final Case preparation, common to the whole group -- 2 pages + PPT presentation (about 10).

DEADLINE : Nov 10th.

Present the main results of this article. Based on it, what would you recommend for the country to fight corruption and to increase public procurement efficiency?

50% - Final written exam (during the last class)

class_1-public_procurement_2018.pdf26.26 MB
class_2-public_procurement_2018.pdf18.42 MB
class_3-public_procurement_2018.pdf2.15 MB
class_4-public_procurement_2018.pdf3.06 MB
class_5-public_procurement_2018.pdf18.55 MB
class_6-public_procurement_2018.pdf20.31 MB
class_7-public_procurement_2018.pdf14.44 MB
class_8-public_procurement_2018.pdf16.44 MB
Class 9-collusion_.pdf1.17 MB
Class 10-Green-Public-Procurement.pdf10.44 MB
class_12-public_procurement_2018.pdf16.66 MB