Economia e Politica Industriale

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 85–107 | Cite as

Barriers towards foreign firms in international public procurement markets: a review

  • Chiara Carboni
  • Elisabetta IossaEmail author
  • Gianpiero Mattera


The international dimension of public procurement has gained in importance in the last decade and has attracted the attention of economist and policy makers. A number of trade agreements were signed with the intention to remove barriers to procurement markets and favour entry of foreign firms and products. However, empirical evidence shows that, despite the existence of trade agreements, discrimination towards foreign firms still applies in a number of countries around the world. In this paper, we present the methodologies used in the economic literature for the identification of overt and covert barriers to public tenders and discuss the importance of collecting high quality data for meliorating the ability of international traders to detect procurement barriers.


Discrimination in public procurement International trade Procurement barriers 

JEL Classification

F13 H57 



The opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the FAO and the OECD and their member countries. We thank an anonymous referee for very helpful comments and Nicola Dimitri, Giancarlo Spagnolo and Federico Trionfetti for useful discussions on this topic.


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Copyright information

© Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)RomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Economics and Finance, and Center of Research in Procurement and Supply Chain, ProxenterUniversity of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly
  3. 3.IEFE-BocconiMilanItaly
  4. 4.Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Directorate for Science, Technology and InnovationParisFrance

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