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Reducing Home Bias in Public Procurement: Trade Agreements and Good Governance

Reducing Home Bias in Public Procurement: Trade Agreements and Good Governance Global Governance 24 (2018), 249–265 Reducing Home Bias in Public Procurement: Trade Agreements and Good Governance Bernard Hoekman Public procurement around the world tends to be heavily skewed toward local firms. This “home bias” has been falling in many countries, independ- ent of whether states have agreed to binding disciplines on government pro- curement in a trade agreement. Extant research suggests that reciprocally negotiated market access commitments have not been very effective in in- ducing governments to buy more from foreign suppliers. In this article, I pres- ent data and review available research on home bias in procurement. I argue that the evidence suggests policy should put less emphasis on specific mar- ket access reciprocity through trade agreements in favor of a greater focus on learning about good procurement practices and principles, enhancing transparency and accountability, and pursuing pro-competitive policies more generally. KEYWORDS: government procurement, regulatory cooperation, trade agreements, good practice, WTO. MOST PUBLIC PROCUREMENT SYSTEMS AIM TO ACHIEVE “VALUE FOR (TAX- payer) money.” The mechanisms to attain that goal often center on mim- icking the working of the market by requiring procuring entities to seek competitive bids for contracts above a threshold. In practice, costs often are not http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations Brill

Reducing Home Bias in Public Procurement: Trade Agreements and Good Governance

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1075-2846
eISSN
1942-6720
DOI
10.1163/19426720-02402006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Global Governance 24 (2018), 249–265 Reducing Home Bias in Public Procurement: Trade Agreements and Good Governance Bernard Hoekman Public procurement around the world tends to be heavily skewed toward local firms. This “home bias” has been falling in many countries, independ- ent of whether states have agreed to binding disciplines on government pro- curement in a trade agreement. Extant research suggests that reciprocally negotiated market access commitments have not been very effective in in- ducing governments to buy more from foreign suppliers. In this article, I pres- ent data and review available research on home bias in procurement. I argue that the evidence suggests policy should put less emphasis on specific mar- ket access reciprocity through trade agreements in favor of a greater focus on learning about good procurement practices and principles, enhancing transparency and accountability, and pursuing pro-competitive policies more generally. KEYWORDS: government procurement, regulatory cooperation, trade agreements, good practice, WTO. MOST PUBLIC PROCUREMENT SYSTEMS AIM TO ACHIEVE “VALUE FOR (TAX- payer) money.” The mechanisms to attain that goal often center on mim- icking the working of the market by requiring procuring entities to seek competitive bids for contracts above a threshold. In practice, costs often are not

Journal

Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International OrganizationsBrill

Published: Aug 19, 2018

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