Language as a Trade Barrier: Evidence from Georgian Public Procurement

36 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2019

See all articles by George Deltas

George Deltas

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics

Simon Evenett

University of St. Gallen - Economics Department - SIAW

Date Written: September 19, 2019

Abstract

Provision of government contract information in English reduces the barriers to participation by foreign suppliers. We measure this effect using data from the country of Georgia, where English translations of government tenders were provided above specified contract size thresholds, which varied over time and across contract types. The provision of English documentation more than doubles foreign company participation for low value contracts, and leads to smaller, though still substantial, increases for higher value contracts. Because foreign bidder participation in Georgia is relatively small, the resulting impact on prices is in the order of only one percent. However, even these small price effects are a non-trivial fraction of the profit margins of domestic competitors.

Keywords: Construction Contracts, Tariffs, Trade Liberalization

JEL Classification: F14, H57, L19

Suggested Citation

Deltas, George and Evenett, Simon, Language as a Trade Barrier: Evidence from Georgian Public Procurement (September 19, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3463675 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3463675

George Deltas (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics ( email )

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Simon Evenett

University of St. Gallen - Economics Department - SIAW ( email )

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CH-9000 St. Gallen
Switzerland
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41 71 224 2298 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.evenett.com

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