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Working in public and private firms

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Author Info

  • Corneo, Giacomo
  • Rob, Rafael

Abstract

We develop a theoretical framework for comparing the style of work in public and private enterprises. We incorporate ‘socializing’, as an activity that yields utility for workers and affects a firm’s output, into a simple multitask model of work organization. In contrast with previous models, we establish the two following results. First, the optimal workers’ compensation policy displays a larger incentive intensity in the private firm than in the public firm. Second, labour productivity in the private firm may be higher or lower than in the public firm. Both results fit well with the findings of empirical work.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 87 (2003)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 1335-1352

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:87:y:2003:i:7-8:p:1335-1352

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," NBER Working Papers 5744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. repec:sae:niesru:v:107:y::i:1:p:63-73 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State Versus Private Ownership," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1841, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Chamley, C. & Marchand, M. & Pestieau, P., 1989. "Linear incentive schemes to control public firms," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 5(2-3), pages 229-243.
  5. Weiss, Andrew W, 1980. "Job Queues and Layoffs in Labor Markets with Flexible Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 526-38, June.
  6. Corneo, Giacomo & Rob, Rafael, 2001. "Working in Public and Private Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 2719, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Roemer, John E. & Silvestre, Joaquim, 1992. "A welfare comparison of private and public monopoly," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 67-81, June.
  8. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Boardman, Anthony E & Vining, Aidan R, 1989. "Ownership and Performance in Competitive Environments: A Comparison of the Performance of Private, Mixed, and State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-33, April.
  10. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
  11. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Privatization and Incentives," Working papers 572, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  13. Atkinson, Scott E. & Halvorsen, Robert, 1986. "The relative efficiency of public and private firms in a regulated environment: The case of U.S. electric utilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 281-294, April.
  14. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
  15. De Fraja, Giovanni, 1993. "Productive efficiency in public and private firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 15-30, January.
  16. Drago, Robert & Garvey, Gerald T, 1998. "Incentives for Helping on the Job: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, January.
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