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March 09, 2021 | 2 Pages | English | Mounir Mahmalat, Sami Atallah, and Wassim Maktabi
The Value of a ‘Seat at the Table’: How Elites Interfere in Lebanon’s Public Infrastructure Procurement

Political elites have ample incentives to interfere in Lebanon’s public procurement. This article summarizes a recent study in which we show how billions of dollars in infrastructure funding channeled through the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) are more likely to be contracted to firms that are politically well-connected. We discuss how CDR not only became a profitable source of rents for elites, but came to reflect the very way in which Lebanon’s power-sharing arrangement functions. Our results put into question some of the central tenets for how technical assistance and interventions can improve procurement processes.

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