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Public versus Private Initiative in Arctic Exploration: The Effects of Incentives and Organizational Structure

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  • Jonathan M. Karpoff

Abstract

From 1818 to 1909, 35 government and 57 privately funded expeditions sought to locate and navigate a Northwest Passage, discover the North Pole, and make other significant discoveries in Arctic regions. Most major Arctic discoveries were made by private expeditions. Most tragedies were publicly funded. Public expeditions were better funded than their private counterparts yet lost more ships, experienced poorer crew health, and had more men die. Public expeditions' poor performance is not attributable to differences in objectives, available technologies, or country of origin. Rather, it reflects a tendency toward poor leadership structures, slow adaptation to new information, and perverse incentives.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 109 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 38-78

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:109:y:2001:i:1:p:38-78

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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Cited by:
  1. John A. List, 2011. "The Market for Charitable Giving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 157-80, Spring.
  2. Stan du Plessis, 2011. "Nationalising South African mines: Back to a prosperous future, or down a rabbit hole?," Working Papers 17/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  3. Decker, Christopher & Corcoran, William & Flynn, David, 2008. "Shipwrecks on the Great Lakes and the Lake Carriers Association," MPRA Paper 11378, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Cashman, George D. & Deli, Daniel N., 2009. "Locating decision rights: Evidence from the mutual fund industry," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 645-671, November.
  5. Machiel Mulder & Victoria Shestalova & Mark Lijesen, 2005. "Vertical separation of the energy-distribution industry; an assessment of several options for unbundling," CPB Document 84, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  6. Richard Chung & Scott Fung & James Shilling & Tammie Simmons-Mosley, 2011. "What Determines Stock Price Synchronicity in REITs?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 73-98, July.
  7. Machikita, Tomohiro & Ueki, Yasushi, 2009. "Linked versus Non-linked Firms in Innovation: The Effects of Economies of Network in Agglomeration in East Asia," IDE Discussion Papers 188, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).

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