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International Cooperation and the Reform of Public Procurement Policies

  • Evenett, Simon J
  • Hoekman, Bernard

The stalemate reached on launching negotiations on most of the Singapore Issues at Cancún provides an opportunity to revisit the knowledge base upon which proposals for international collective action may be drawn. This Paper examines the available evidence on public procurement practices in developing countries that could be relevant to multilateral rule making. Although there is considerable agreement on ends (efficient, non-corrupt, and transparent public purchasing systems), little information is available on means: effective and replicable strategies that developing countries have adopted to improve their public procurement systems. A concerted effort to substantially add to the knowledge base on public procurement reforms in developing countries, through targeted research and international exchange of information on applied procurement policies and outcomes, is critical to identify areas where binding multilateral disciplines may be beneficial. The literature surveyed in this Paper suggests that reforms of public procurement systems are often guided by international instruments and templates, but are not informed by quantitative assessments of the cross-country experience as regards the different options, mechanisms and technologies that can be adopted. A research agenda to help fill these lacunae is presented – implementation of which might inform a WTO-based effort to identify options for international cooperation.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4663.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4663
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  1. Abbott, Kenneth W. & Snidal, Duncan, 2000. "Hard and Soft Law in International Governance," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 421-456, June.
  2. Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
  3. Evenett, Simon J. & Hoekman, Bernard M., 2004. "Government procurement : Market access, transparency, and multilateral trade rules," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3195, The World Bank.
  4. Claudio Orrego & Carlos Osorio & Rodrigo Mardones, 2001. "Technological Innovation in Public Sector Reform : Chile's Public Procurement e-System," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11403, The World Bank.
  5. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  6. Ades, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "National Champions and Corruption: Some Unpleasant Interventionist Arithmetic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1023-42, July.
  7. Dimitri Mardas & Nikos Varsakelis, 2000. "Public procurement policy and the Czech industry," International Advances in Economic Research, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 6(3), pages 488-497, August.
  8. Hoekman, Bernard, 1998. "Using International Institutions to Improve Public Procurement," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 249-69, August.
  9. Alam, M S, 1995. "A Theory of Limits on Corruption and Some Applications," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 419-35.
  10. Charles Sabel & Sanjay Reddy, 2007. "Learning to Learn: Undoing the Gordian Knot of Development Today," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 50(5), pages 73-92, October.
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