Policy Watch: Daniel Y. Kono
from 12:10 PM to 01:00 PM
Every year, governments spend trillions of dollars procuring goods and services. They often favor domestic over foreign producers through policies such as the recent “Buy American” provisions. However, while such policies are an important barrier to trade, we know little about the politics of procurement discrimination. We argue that regime type affects governments’ incentives to discriminate in public procurement. Because the costs of discriminatory procurement are opaque, democratic governments have strong incentives to obstruct trade through such discrimination rather than through more transparent measures such as tariffs. Democracies are thus more likely than autocracies to discriminate in public procurement. We support this argument with data on 138 countries from 1990-2008.
Daniel Y. Kono is associate professor of political science at UC Davis. He specializes in the political economy of international trade. His work has been published in a variety of journals, including; The American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, and International Studies Quarterly.