Bunching below thresholds to manipulate public procurement

Bedri Kamil Onur Tas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Manipulative authorities can bunch tenders just below thresholds to implement noncompetitive procurement practices. I use regression discontinuity manipulation tests to identify the bunching manipulation scheme. I investigate the European Union public procurement data set that covers more than two million contracts. The results show that 10–13% of the examined authorities exhibit a high probability of bunching. These authorities are less likely to employ competitive procurement procedures. Local firms are more likely to win contracts from a bunching authority. The probability that the same firm wins contracts repeatedly is high when an authority has high bunching probability. Empirical results suggest that policy makers can effectively employ regression discontinuity manipulation tests to determine manipulative authorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-319
Number of pages17
JournalEmpirical Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Competition
  • European union
  • Manipulation
  • Public procurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Bunching below thresholds to manipulate public procurement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this