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Arm's length delegation of public services

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  • Bennedsen, Morten
  • Schultz, Christian
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    Abstract

    Delegation is a key feature of political decision making: Mayors or prime ministers delegate to subordinates, voters delegate to elected representatives. We analyze the effect of political delegation on public service provision and the choice between private or public providers when contracts are incomplete and incentives therefore distorted. We identify two important effects: The incentive effect increases the incentive part of service providers' remuneration and delegation may therefore be a substitute for an explicit complete incentive contract. The bargaining effect improves the bargaining position vis a vis a private firm with market power. In general, these effects imply that delegation improves public service provision.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272711000181
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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 7 ()
    Pages: 543-552

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7:p:543-552

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Outsourcing; Strategic delegation; Public service provision; Incentives; Incomplete contracting; Market power; Representative democracy;

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    References

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