Procurement in Big Science Centres: Politics or Technology? Evidence from CERN
37 Pages Posted: 31 May 2019
Date Written: May 21, 2019
Procurement from Big Science Centers (BSC) yields a variety of spillover eﬀects that can ultimately have growth enhancing consequences for their partner countries. We study the determinants of procurement for the biggest research infrastructure ever built: the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Using a unique cross-section database of ﬁrms that have registered to become industrial partners of the LHC program, we estimate the determinants for potential suppliers of receiving an order from CERN. We compare the relative weight of ﬁrms’ technological features and CERN’s procurement rules aimed at securing a juste retour for its Member States. Our results point to a strong impact of technological factors, while also highlighting the importance of political constraints related with CERN’s procurement rules as well as the presence of a home bias. Since the constraints related with the achievement of a juste retour aﬀect–directly or indirectly–the procurement policy of many European BSCs, our results have policy implications that go beyond the CERN case study.
Keywords: big science; procurement; innovation; hi-tech; CERN
JEL Classification: C21; C25; H57; O32; O38
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