Public Procurement and Rent-Seeking: The Case of Paraguay

Emmanuelle Auriol, Thomas Flochel, and Stéphane Straub


A model of entrepreneurial choices in an economy with a corrupt public procurement sector is built, providing predictions along two main dimensions. First, corruption is more frequent in sectors where public institutions are large buyers. Second, firms favoured with corrupt contracts enjoy extra returns, so that procurement related activities attract the best entrepreneurs. A large scale microeconomic database, including all public procurement operations over a 4 year period in Paraguay, amounting annually to approximately 6% of the country’s GDP, is then used to corroborate these predictions.


Procurement; Corruption; Rent-seeking; Development;

JEL codes

  • H57: Procurement
  • D73: Bureaucracy • Administrative Processes in Public Organizations • Corruption
  • D72: Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
  • O5: Economywide Country Studies


See also

Published in

World Development, vol. 77, January 2016, pp. 395–407