Giancarlo Spagnolo

Giancarlo Spagnolo
University of Rome Tor Vergata | UNIROMA2 · SITE and DEF

About

154
Publications
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3,182
Citations

Publications

Publications (154)
Article
Full-text available
It is often claimed that rewards for whistleblowers lead to fraudulent reports, but for several US programs this has not been a major problem. We model the interaction between rewards for whistleblowers, sanctions against fraudulent reporting, judicial errors, and standards of proof in the court case on a whistleblower’s allegations and the possibl...
Article
Full-text available
Research on whistleblowing has increased significantly in the last decades, and so has the number of laws governing whistleblowing. Whereas the EU recently enacted a Directive (Directive 2019/1937) protecting whistleblowers, the US has gone one step further long ago, not only protecting them but also offering substantial monetary rewards for their...
Article
Full-text available
There is widespread concern that incentive mechanisms based on past performance may hinder entry in procurement markets. We report results from a laboratory experiment assessing this concern. Within a simple dynamic procurement game where suppliers compete on price and quality we study how an incentive mechanism based on past performance affects ou...
Article
The effect of regulations on the banking sector is a key question for financial intermediation. This paper provides evidence that merger control regulation, although not directly targeted at the banking sector, has substantial economic effects on bank mergers. Based on an extensive sample of European countries, we show that target announcement prem...
Article
Full-text available
This study provides the first quantification of buyers' role in R&D procurement. We combine together four data sources on US federal R&D contracts, follow-on patented inventions, the federal public workforce characteristics and perception of their work. By exploiting the observability of deaths of federal employees, we find that managers' death eve...
Article
Full-text available
The frequency of interaction facilitates collusion by reducing gains from defection. Theory has shown that under imperfect monitoring flexibility may hinder cooperation by inducing punishment after too few noisy signals, making collusion impossible in many environments (Sannikov and Skrzypacz in Am Econ Rev 97:1794–1823, 2007). The interplay of the...
Article
Whistleblower rewards have been used extensively in the United States to limit procurement fraud and tax evasion, and since the financial crisis their use has been extended to fight financial fraud. There is currently debate over their introduction in Europe, but authorities there appear considerably less enthusiastic than their American counterpar...
Article
We find that the introduction of stricter merger control legislation in the European Union in the period 1986-2007 increases the abnormal announcement returns of targets in bank mergers by 7 percentage points. In searching for potential explanations, we document an increase in the pre-merger profitability of targets, a decrease in the size of acqui...
Preprint
Full-text available
Based on data from a comprehensive benchmarking study on buyer-supplier relationships in the German automotive industry, we show that more trust in a relationship is associated with higher idiosyncratic investment by suppliers and better part quality|but also with more competition among suppliers. Both associations hold only for parts involving com...
Article
Full-text available
Does a more competent public bureaucracy contribute to better economic out-comes? We address this question in the context of the US federal procurement of services and works by combining contract-level data on procurement performance and bureau-level data on competence and workforce characteristics. Using an instrumental variable strategy, we find...
Article
Full-text available
Does a more competent public bureaucracy contribute to better economic outcomes? We address this question in the context of the US federal procurement of services and works by combining contract-level data on procurement performance and bureau-level data on competence and workforce characteristics. Using an instrumental variable strategy, we find t...
Article
We run a regression discontinuity design analysis to document the causal effect of increasing buyers’ discretion on procurement outcomes in a large database for public works in Italy. Works with a value above a given threshold have to be awarded through an open auction. Works below this threshold can be more easily awarded through a restricted auct...
Article
Full-text available
We experimentally investigate employees' decisions to blow the whistle on a manager whose law-breaking benefits the firm but harms society. We investigate the effects of both financial rewards and non-monetary incentives, in the form of public scrutiny, on whistleblowing as well as their interaction with the visibility of harm, i.e., whether the ha...
Article
Full-text available
Non-contractible quality dimensions are at risk of degradation when the provision of public services is privatized. However, privatization may increase quality by fostering performance-improving innovation, particularly if combined with increased competition. We assemble a large data set on elderly care services in Sweden between 1990 and 2009 and...
Article
We find that stricter merger control legislation increases abnormal announcement returns of targets in bank mergers by 7 percentage points. Analyzing potential explanations for this result, we document an increase in the pre-merger profitability of targets, a decrease in the size of acquirers and a decreasing share of transactions in which banks ar...
Research
Full-text available
Using unique data from buyer-supplier relationships in the German automotive industry, we unveil a puzzle by which more trust in a relationship is associated with higher idiosyncratic R&D investments, but also more competition. We develop a theoretical model of repeated procurement with non-contractible, buyer-specific investments rationalizing bot...
Article
This article presents results from a laboratory experiment studying the channels through which different law enforcement strategies deter cartel formation. With leniency policies offering immunity to the first reporting party, a high fine is the main determinant of deterrence, having a strong effect even when the probability of exogenous detection...
Article
We find that stricter merger control legislation increases abnormal announcement returns of targets in bank mergers by 7 percentage points. Analyzing potential explanations for this result, we document an increase in the pre-merger profitability of targets, a decrease in the size of acquirers, and a decreasing share of transactions in which banks a...
Chapter
Cartels remain widespread and constitute a major problem for society. Leniency policies reduce or cancel the sanctions for the first firm(s) that self-report being part of a cartel and have become the main enforcement instrument used by competition authorities around the world in their fight against cartels. Such policies have shown to be a powerfu...
Book
Full-text available
This eBook collects some of the best Vox columns on financial regulations, starting with the fundamentals of financial regulations, moving on to bank capital and the Basel regulations, and finishing with the wider considerations of the regulatory agenda and the political dimension. Collecting columns from over the past six years, this eBook maps th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We develop a simple theoretical model of a long term buyer-supplier relationship with noncontractible buyer specific R&D investment, and derive predictions on the effects of trust and competition on suppliers’ investment and buyers’ procurement strategies. We address these issues empirically using unique survey data on individual buyer-supplier rel...
Article
We run a regression discontinuity design analysis to document the causal effect of increasing buyers' discretion on procurement outcomes in a large database for public works in Italy. Works with a value above a given threshold have to be awarded through an open auction. Works below this threshold can be more easily awarded through a restricted auct...
Article
Modern antitrust engenders a possible conflict between public and private enforcement due to the central role of Leniency Programs. Damage actions may reduce the attractiveness of Leniency Programs for cartel participants if their cooperation with the competition authority increases the chance that the cartel’s victims will bring a successful suit....
Article
Full-text available
We test the robustness of recent findings on the benefits of penalty con-tracts to the environments typical of B2B (and B2G) procurement, where buyers and sellers interact repeatedly, matching is endogenous and com-petitive, there are contractible and non-contractible tasks, and reputation-based relationships can emerge. Both bonuses and penalties...
Chapter
Full-text available
PPPs have been implemented broadly around the world in the infrastructure sector-­‐water and sanitation, transports, energy, and telecommunications-­‐ and, more recently, in the provision of public services-­‐education, health, prisons, and water and waste management. Key aspects of the contract design, such as risk allocation and payment mechanism...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce a measure for the riskiness of cooperation in the infinitely repeated discounted Prisoner’s Dilemma and use it to explore how players cooperate once cooperation is an equilibrium. Riskiness of a cooperative equilibrium is based on a pairwise comparison between this equilibrium and the uniquely safe all defect equilibrium. It is a strat...
Article
This article presents results from a laboratory experiment studying the channels through which different law enforcement strategies deter cartel formation. With leniency policies offering immunity to the first reporting party, a high fine is the main determinant of deterrence, having a strong effect even when the probability of exogenous detection...
Article
Over the last decade a large body of economic research has emerged that has sought to empirically test the effectiveness of leniency policies as tools to enhance the detection, prosecution and deterrence of cartel conduct. This research has considerable potential value in assisting competition authorities design optimal policies by having a better...
Article
In most jurisdictions, antitrust fines are based on affected commerce rather than on collusive profits, and in some others, caps on fines are introduced based on total firm sales rather than on affected commerce. We uncover a number of distortions that these policies generate, propose simple models to characterise their comparative static propertie...
Working Paper
Disputes over penalties for breach of contract are often solved in court. A simple model shows how inefficient courts may induce public buyers to refrain from enforcing penalties for late delivery to avoid litigation, inducing sellers to delay. Using a large dataset on Italian public procurement, we then study empirically the effects of court ineff...
Working Paper
Credit registers collect, store and share information regarding borrowersi?½ past and current credit relations. Interestingly, such data is typically erased from the public records after a number of years, in accordance with privacy protection laws, which aim at providing individuals with a fresh start from past events. In order to secure credit-wo...
Article
When subjects interact in continuous time, their ability to cooperate may dramatically increase. In an experiment, we study the impact of different time horizons on cooperation in (quasi) continuous time prisoner's dilemmas. We find that cooperation levels are similar or higher when the horizon is deterministic rather than stochastic. Moreover, a d...
Article
One-sided leniency policies and asymmetric punishment are regarded as potentially powerful anti-corruption tools, also in the light of their success in busting price-fixing cartels. It has been argued, however, that the introduction of these policies in China in 1997 has not helped fighting corruption. Following up on this view, the Central Committ...
Article
A model of harassment bribes (paid for services one is entitled to) is developed and used to analyze the recent proposal to legalize paying bribes while increasing fines on accepting bribes. We explore performance as regards corruption deterrence and public service provision. A modified scheme, where immunity is conditional on reporting, addresses...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents results from a laboratory experiment on the channels through which different law enforcement strategies deter cartel formation. With leniency policies offering immunity to the first reporting party a high fine is the main determinant of deterrence, having a strong effect even when the probability of exogenous detection is zero....
Article
Full-text available
Flexibility - the ability to react swiftly to others' choices - facilitates collusion by reducing gains from defection before opponents react. Under imperfect monitoring, however, flexibility may also hinder collusion by inducing punishment after too few noisy signals. The combination of these forces predicts a non-monotonic relationship between fl...
Article
Based on my recent work with several co-authors this paper explores the relationship between discretion, reputation, competition and entry in procurement markets. I focus especially on public procurement, which is highly regulated for accountability and trade reasons. In Europe regulation constrains the use of past performance information to select...
Article
Full-text available
Many quality dimensions are hard to contract upon and are at risk of degradation when the service is procured rather than produced in-house. On the other hand, procurement may foster performance-improving innovation. We assemble a large data set on elderly care services in Sweden for the 1990-2009 period, including survival rates, our measure of no...
Article
Harassment bribes - payments people give in order not to be denied what they are legally entitled to - are common in for example India. Kaushik Basu recently made a 'radical' proposal to reduce its occurrence: Legalize the act of giving the bribe and double the fine for accepting the bribe! We develop a formal model and delineate circumstances unde...
Article
When subjects interact in continuous time, their ability to cooperate may dramatically increase. In an experiment, we study the impact of different time horizons on cooperation in (quasi) continuous time prisoner's dilemmas. We find that cooperation levels are similar or higher when the horizon is deterministic rather than stochastic.Moreover, a de...
Article
Full-text available
In this Paper we investigate the possibility of geographical agglomeration in the bilateral peering decisions of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) participating to Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). We consider the wider issue of the effects of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on geographical agglomeration forces and, in particula...
Article
Full-text available
We propose an axiomatic approach for equilibrium selection in the discounted, infinitely repeated symmetric Prisoner's Dilemma. Our axioms characterize a unique selection criterion that is also useful as a tool for applied comparative statics exercises as it results in a critical discount factor δ* strictly larger than δ, the standard criterion tha...
Article
Full-text available
This study analyses the main barriers to effective competition in the provision of mortgage credit. The study considers and discusses barriers affecting both the supply (distance, information sharing, cross-selling practices, linkages between mortgage lenders and other market players) and the demand (switching and search costs) side of the market....
Article
The aim of this paper is to describe in detail a set of newly developed indicators of the quality of competition policy, Competition Policy Indexes, or CPIs. The CPIs measure the deterrence properties of a competition policy in a jurisdiction, where for competition policy we mean the antitrust legislation, including the merger control provisions, a...
Article
We present results from a laboratory experiment identifying the main channels through which different law enforcement strategies deter organized economic crime. The absolute level of a fine has a strong deterrence effect, even when the exogenous probability of apprehension is zero. This effect appears to be driven by distrust or fear of betrayal, a...
Article
Full-text available
This article reports results from an experiment studying how FINES, LENIENCY, and REWARDS for whistleblowers affect cartel formation and prices. Antitrust without LENIENCY reduces cartel formation but increases cartel prices: subjects use costly FINES as punishments, LENIENCY improves antitrust by strengthening deterrence but stabilizes surviving c...
Article
In the financial intermediation industry, competition issues interact with those concerned with stability, as the current crisis unfortunately reminded us. This paper discusses and summarizes recent inquiries into retail banking undertaken by the European Commission and various National Competition Authorities, commenting on the methodologies and p...
Article
We study networks of relations – groups of agents linked by several cooperative relationships – exploring equilibrium conditions under different network configurations and information structures. Relationships are the links through which soft information can flow, and the value of a network lies in its ability to enforce agreements that could not b...
Article
Information asymmetries can severely limit cross-border border expansion of banks. When a bank enters a new market, it has incomplete information about potential new clients. Such asymmetries are reduced by credit registers, which distribute financial data on bank clients. We investigate the interaction of credit registers and bank entry modes (in...
Article
Full-text available
Sequential procurement of multiple contracts/lots is widespread and often regularly repeated. We analyze how sequentiality and its interaction with asymmetries across bidders and lots affect the sustainability of supplier/bidder collusion. Sequential procurement stabilizes supplier collusion (compared to simultaneous procurement) by allowing not on...
Article
Full-text available
Banken sind bei der Kreditvergabe auf verlässliche Informationen über die Bonität und Risikostruktur potentieller Kreditnehmer angewiesen. Diese Informationen werden in der Regel von nationalen Kreditauskunfteien gesammelt. Insbesondere beim Eintritt in einen ausländischen Markt sind eher national aufgestellte Banken mehr denn je auf die Informatio...
Article
When granting credit, banks depend on reliable information about the creditworthiness and risk structure of potential borrowers. This information is typically gathered by national credit bureaus. Nationally established banks depend on information from credit bureaus more than ever, particularly when entering a foreign market. This DIW study (which...
Working Paper
Full-text available
We study differently framed incentives in dynamic laboratory buyer-seller relationships with multi-tasking and endogenous matching. The experimental design tries to mitigate the role of social preferences and intrinsic motivation. Absent explicit incentives, effort is low in both tasks. Their introduction boosts eciency substantially increasing eff...
Article
This paper empirically investigates the effectiveness of competition policy by estimating its impact on Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth for 22 industries in 12 OECD countries over the period 1995-2005. We find a robust positive and significant effect of competition policy as measured by newly created indexes. We provide several arguments and...
Article
This paper reports results from an experiment studying how fines, leniency programs and reward schemes for whistleblowers affect cartel formation and prices. Antitrust without leniency reduces cartel formation, but increases cartel prices: subjects use costly fines as (altruistic) punishments. Leniency further increases deterrence, but stabilizes s...
Article
Joint bidding is the practice of two or more independent suppliers submitting a single bid, a widespread practice in private and public procurement. This practice may generate efficiencies through synergies and information sharing, but may also be abused to reduce the number of competitors or-even worse-to facilitate or enforce collusion among them...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we use simple repeated field experiments to show how eBay's reputation system can be manipulated by purchasing cheap positive feedbacks. Our experiments confirm that 'feedback purchase' is still possible even under the new rules that eBay recently adopted to eliminate 'padding'. In discussing these rules we conclude that changes have...
Article
eBay's feedback mechanism is considered crucial to establishing and maintaining trust on the world's largest trading platform. Yet, there is confusion among users about its exact institutional details, which changed substantially in May 2007. Most importantly, buyers now have the possibility to leave additional, anonymous ratings on sellers on four...
Article
Full-text available
We study the tension between competitive screening and contract enforcement where a principal trades repeatedly with one among several agents, moral hazard and adverse selection coexist, and non-contractible dimensions are governed by relational contracting. We simultaneously characterize optimal relational contracts and competitive screening polic...
Article
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This paper provides a comprehensive discussion of the deterrence properties of a competition policy regime. On the basis of the economic theory of law enforcement we identify several factors that are likely to affect its degree of deterrence: 1) sanctions and damages; 2) financial and human resources; 3) powers during the investigation; 4) quality...
Article
In this paper we explore theoretically the relationship between explicit and implicit/relational contracting distinguishing between the ex-ante decision to sign an explicit contract and the ex-post decision wheter to actually apply it. We show, among other things, that the relational efficient explicit contract tends to display overcontracting on t...
Article
We test infinitely repeated prisoner's dilemma games with random continuation in the laboratory to capture the effect of strategic risk on co-operation. We propose a criterion building on Harsanyi and Selten's (1988) risk dominance concept and motivate it by three heuristic principles. Our criterion depends on the often disregarded "sucker's payoff...
Article
Leniency policies and rewards for whistleblowers are being introduced in ever more fields of law enforcement, though their deterrence effects are often hard to observe, and the likely effect of changes in the specific features of these schemes can only be observed experimentally. This paper reports results from an experiment designed to examine the...