Political Budget Cycles in European Public Procurement

46 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2020

See all articles by Annika Havlik

Annika Havlik

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research; University of Mannheim

Date Written: 2020


This paper studies whether political budget cycles occur in public procurement in the European Union. Using project- level data from Tenders Electronic Daily (2008-2018), I analyze different steps along the procurement process, namely the publication of the contract notice, the awarding of the contract, and the completion of the project. While there is no evidence of an increased activity in project completions, I find an increase in public procurement contract notices and awards prior to national parliamentary elections. This effect is more pronounced for visible and labor-intensive projects and can be interpreted as a “credible election promise”, as the budget for the project is only committed at the time of the award and not spent yet.

Keywords: Public procurement, political budget cycles, elections, European Union

JEL Classification: D72, D73, H57

Suggested Citation

Havlik, Annika, Political Budget Cycles in European Public Procurement (2020). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 20-069, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3739881 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3739881

Annika Havlik (Contact Author)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034

University of Mannheim ( email )

Mannheim, 68131

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