Municipal purchases of face masks in Chile during the first wave of pandemic 2020

Published: 28 July 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/wr3zc5wxdh.1


We base our research on primary data that was collected from the national registry of public procurement, managed by the Chilean National Directorate of Public Procurement (Dirección Nacional de Compras y Contratación Pública, 2020). The data includes each purchase generated by any entity from the public sector. We focused on the acquisition of face masks by the 320 counties in charge of primary health. Among the recorded values, we were able to define, for each purchase, the type of masks, quantity acquired, price paid, the date of the purchase, and the municipality that bought the equipment. We then generated monthly aggregates by county, in order to have a panel of comparable indicators. The data extraction occurred in January 2021, which allowed us to have data for the period January to December of 2020. Due to the stress among municipal public servants and quick need to purchase PPE, the raw data included aggregated amounts that did not distinguish boxes or units or types of masks. Thus, an additional cleaning data process involved looking at each purchase order and invoices, so to obtain unitary prices, total amounts and types of masks purchased. We also included a series of characteristics from each county, such as municipal autonomous revenue per capita, density and distance from regional capitals, that were available on the public database published online by the Ministry of the Interior (Ministerio del Interior, 2020)



Universidad Alberto Hurtado


Public Procurement, Inequality, COVID-19