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Exploring foreign market access in government procurement

Shingal, ANIRUDH (2011): Exploring foreign market access in government procurement.

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Using unexplored Japanese and Swiss public procurement data over 1990-2003, we examine the effect of macroeconomic, political economy, procurement-specific and domestic policy factors on governments’ sourcing decisions. We also provide for an empirical test of Baldwin's (1970, 1984) "neutrality proposition" and for the effectiveness of the WTO's Uruguay Round Agreement on Government Procurement (URGPA) in increasing foreign market access. Our results suggest the importance of the magnitude of procurement demand, domestic firm attributes and unobserved sector-specific heterogeneity in these governments' purchases from abroad. However, the expected impact of traditional macroeconomic variables and political budget cycles does not come through in our results. Public and private sector imports do not offset each other in our analyses for Japan and only selectively for Switzerland. Finally, membership of the GPA is only found to increase the value of foreign procurement in Switzerland, though it seems to increase the import demand for contracts in both countries.

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