Government procurement: market access, transparency, and multilateral trade rules
The effects on national welfare and on market access of two public procurement practices, discrimination and non-transparency, are examined. Both policies have become prominent in international trade negotiations, such as the ongoing Doha Round of WTO trade talks. Our analysis shows that fostering either domestic competition or transparency in state contracting tends to improve welfare. In contrast, we find no clear-cut effect on market access of ending discrimination or improving transparency. This mismatch between market access and welfare effects may account for the slower progress in negotiating procurement disciplines in trade agreements than for traditional border measures such as tariffs.
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