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As a means to reduce delays in public works implementation, a number of Brazilian states have recently reformed their procurement rules allowing contractor price proposals to be assessed before the technical evaluation of submitted bids is undertaken (in a procedure known as inversao das fases). In order to evaluate the effects of such reform, this paper adopts a difference-in-differences methodology to compare the procurement performance of Sao Paulo state (a reformer state) and Minas Gerais' (a non-reformer state) largest water and sewage utility along three efficiency dimensions: procurement process duration; likelihood of complaint resolution litigation; and prices paid to contractors.
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