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Contracting officer workload, incomplete contracting, and contractual terms

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This article estimates the causal effect of retirement‐induced workload spikes on the selection of procurement terms. In a sample of 150,000 contracts from 85 procurement offices over 11 years, increases in workload decrease reliance on competitive acquisition procedures, decrease reliance on firm‐fixed‐price contracts, increase risk of renegotiation, and increase costs. These estimates are consistent with a model of endogenously incomplete contracting. The US federal government has experienced exceptional growth in acquisitions contracting over the past decade but limited growth in acquisitions manpower. This article provides some of the facts necessary to evaluate the consequences of these shifts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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