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Governments everywhere procure goods and services as inputs into the production of public goods and services. Such purchases can account for a substantial share of total demand for goods and services. Governments' tendencies, however, to "Buy National," and other discriminatory purchasing practices, can have high costs. The end result for the world as a whole is likely to be substantially inferior in welfare terms to a cooperative outcome where governments agree to refrain from discrimination. Hence the Government Procurement Act (GPA) aims to subject public purchasing to international competition. However, many developing countries, along with others such as Australia and New Zealand, have refused to join the GPA on the grounds that it is not in their best interest.
This volume examines the GPA and discusses what could be done to improve it with a view to expanding its membership. The contributors focus on four broad issues: the negotiating history, content, and operation of the GPA; the economics of the GPA's rules and disciplines; the implementation of the GPA in domestic legal systems; and, finally, possible alternatives to--and improvements on--the current set of multilateral rules and disciplines.
Offering the most comprehensive assessment of the subject available, the volume will be of interest to scholars of international trade, as well as people whose work involves them in government procurement, from the buyers and sellers of goods and services to those concerned with legal aspects.
Bernard M. Hoekman is Senior Economist in the International Economics Department at the World Bank. Petros C. Mavroidis is Professor of Law, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
This title was formally part of the Studies in International Trade Policy Series, now called Studies in International Economics.
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