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Sustainable Innovation

Public Procurement and Machismo in Costa Rica: do female procurement officers allocate more contracts to female-managed firms?

Thursday, 11. April 2019

The project aims to examine the relationship between the procurement officer and the gender of the CEO of a firm that wins a public contract. The International Trade Center (ITC) estimated that currently women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs globally only win around 1% of public contracts. Given that public procurement has shown to help especially young firms to grow (Ferraz et al., 2016), such unbalanced allocation of public contracts may partly account for difficulties of female-managed businesses to emerge and sustain. One potential reason for the dominance of male-lead businesses in the allocation of public contracts may be that male procurement officers favour firms with same-sex managers. Anecdotal and empirical evidence suggests that “cronyism” and “nepotism” play a crucial role in the allocation of public contracts (e.g. Auriol et al., 2016; Lehne et al., 2016 etc.).

For further information contact Florian Münch.

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