Scientific research

Impact public procurement

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), public procurement in the Netherlands entails about €120 billion of expenditures on an annual basis by the public sector. The size of the market for public procurement outside of the Netherlands and Europe varies from 15% of the GDP in developed countries to more than 75% in developing countries. As a consequence, the economic importance of this sector is evident. In addition to the procurement of goods and works, this emphasizes the need to purchase services that are essential for citizens - from (home) care, the supply of water, gas, electricity, waste disposal and processing, to refugee housing (etc.) - through just and effective procedures.

Importance of interdisciplinary research

Interdisciplinary scientific (and applied) research is necessary to ensure the proper functioning of public procurement markets. Most of the current and future challenges that our society is confronted with can only be suitably addressed by combining legal, economic, and public purchasing sciences. 

The combined input of these disciplines establishes the preconditions to research to what extent a public procurement procedure is desirable, and if so, whether it can be an effective instrument to accomplish policy goals in various social fields, such as combatting unemployment and climate change, stimulating social inclusion, sustainability and innovation.

Research question

The central research question entails: 'In what way should the market for public procurement be regulated to realise the highest economic and societal advantages?'


Due to a lack of multidisciplinary research on public procurement law and public purchasing, a lot of pivotal questions for society are not answered in an adequate way. Analysing issues from legal and economic perspectives leads to a new understanding and to a better way of answering them.

Researchers of the PPRC are - for example - specialised in the following themes:

  • Economic and legal analyses of award methods;
  • Integrity and corruption in public procurement;
  • Public purchasing in the social domain;
  • In-house provision and public-public cooperation;
  • Past and present performance;
  • Integrity and social inclusion;
  • Defense procurement;
  • Societal public procurement and social return;
  • Competitive procedures in general and the distribution of limited authorisations.


Our publications can be found at the personal profile-pages of our staff members on the website of the Utrecht University. 

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