Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Is private production of public services cheaper than public production? A meta-regression analysis of solid waste and water services

Contents:

Author Info

  • Germ� Bel

    (Professor, Universitat de Barcelona and Guest Professor, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics)

  • Xavier Fageda

    (Assistant Professor, Universitat de Barcelona)

  • Mildred E. Warner

    (Professor, Cornell University)

Abstract

Privatization of local government services is assumed to deliver cost savings, but empirical evidence for this from around the world is mixed. We conduct a meta-regression analysis of all econometric studies examining privatization of water distribution and solid waste collection services and find no systematic support for lower costs with private production. Differences in study results are explained by differences in time period of the analyses, service characteristics, and policy environment. We do not find a genuine empirical effect of cost savings resulting from private production. The results suggest that to ensure cost savings, more attention be given to the cost characteristics of the service, the transaction costs involved, and the policy environment stimulating competition, rather than to the debate over public versus private delivery of these services. © 2010 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20509
File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 553-577

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:29:y:2010:i:3:p:553-577

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Antonio Estache & Martin Rossi, 2002. "How different is the efficiency of Public and Private Water Companies in Asia," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/43984, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. T. D. Stanley, 2005. "Beyond Publication Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 309-345, 07.
  4. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2004. "A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-134/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. John Ashton, 2000. "Cost efficiency in the UK water and sewerage industry," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(7), pages 455-458.
  6. Kay, J A & Thompson, D J, 1986. "Privatisation: A Policy in Search of a Rationale," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(381), pages 18-32, March.
  7. Dubin, Jeffrey A & Navarro, Peter, 1988. "How Markets for Impure Public Goods Organize: The Case of Household Refuse Collection," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 217-41, Fall.
  8. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Ohlsson, Henry, 1998. "Ownership and Production Costs - Choosing Between Public Production and Contracting Out," Working Paper Series 1998:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  10. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond Gradus, 2004. "Cost savings of contracting out refuse collection," Public Economics 0409002, EconWPA.
  11. Germà Bel & Xavier Fageda, 2009. "Empirical analysis of solid management waste costs: Some evidence from Galicia, Spain," IREA Working Papers 200907, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2009.
  12. Domberger, S & Meadowcroft, S & Thompson, D J, 1986. "Competitive tendering and efficiency: the case of refuse collection," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 7(4), pages 69-87, November.
  13. Nelson, Michael A, 1997. "Municipal Government Approaches to Service Delivery: An Analysis from a Transactions Cost Perspective," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 82-96, January.
  14. Germa Bel & Xavier Fageda, 2008. "Reforming the local public sector: economics and politics in privatization of water and solid waste," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 45-65.
  15. Crain, W Mark & Zardkoohi, Asghar, 1978. "A Test of the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm: Water Utilities in the United States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 395-408, October.
  16. Saal, David S & Parker, David, 2001. "Productivity and Price Performance in the Privatized Water and Sewerage Companies of England and Wales," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 61-90, July.
  17. Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State Versus Private Ownership," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1841, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  18. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 2005. "Contract theory," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9543, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  19. Ferris, James M & Graddy, Elizabeth, 1994. "Organizational Choices for Public Service Supply," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 126-41, April.
  20. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond H J M Gradus, 2008. "Institutional developments in the Dutch waste-collection market," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 26(1), pages 110-126, February.
  21. Eoin Reeves & Michael Barrow, 2000. "The Impact of Contracting Out on the Costs of Refuse Collection Services - The Case of Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 31(2), pages 129-150.
  22. Bhattacharyya, Arunava & Harris, Thomas R. & Narayanan, Rangesan & Raffiee, Kambiz, 1995. "Specification and estimation of the effect of ownership on the economic efficiency of the water utilities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 759-784, December.
  23. Melo, Patricia C. & Graham, Daniel J. & Noland, Robert B., 2009. "A meta-analysis of estimates of urban agglomeration economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 332-342, May.
  24. Stanley, T D & Jarrell, Stephen B, 1989. " Meta-Regression Analysis: A Quantitative Method of Literature Survey s," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 161-70.
  25. Mildred Warner & Robert Hebdon, 2001. "Local Government Restructuring: Privatization and Its Alternatives," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 315-336.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Is the pendulum swinging on outsourcing civic services?
    by ? in Urbanomics on 2011-04-15 01:48:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Peeter Peda & Giuseppe Grossi & Margo Liik, 2013. "Do ownership and size affect the performance of water utilities? Evidence from Estonian municipalities," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 237-259, May.
  2. Mühlenkamp, Holger, 2013. "From state to market revisited: more empirical evidence on the efficiency of public (and privately-owned) enterprises," MPRA Paper 47570, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Daniel Albalate & Germà Bel & R. Richard Geddes, 2012. "“The determinants of contractual choice for private involvement in infrastructure projects in the United States”," IREA Working Papers 201220, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Dec 2012.
  4. Michael Artis & Ernest Miguélez & Rosina Moreno, 2009. "Assessing agglomeration economies in a spatial framework with endogenous regressors," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33239, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Graziano Abrate & Federico Boffa & Fabrizio Erbetta & Davide Vannoni, 2013. "Corruption, Accountability and Efficiency. An Application to Municipal Solid Waste Services," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 316, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  6. Lluís Bermúdez & Antoni Ferri & Montserrat Guillén, 2011. "A correlation sensitivity analysis of non-life underwriting risk in solvency capital requirement estimation," Working Papers XREAP2011-12, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Sep 2011.
  7. Daniel Albalate & Germà Bel & Joan Calzada, 2010. "Urban transport governance reform in Barcelona," IREA Working Papers 201009, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jun 2010.
  8. Geddes, R. Richard & Wagner, Benjamin L., 2013. "Why do U.S. states adopt public–private partnership enabling legislation?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 30-41.
  9. E. Dijkgraaf & R. Gradus, 2011. "Efficiency Effects of Privatising Refuse Collection: Be careful and Alternatives present," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-156/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Carvalho, Pedro & Marques, Rui Cunha & Berg, Sanford, 2012. "A meta-regression analysis of benchmarking studies on water utilities market structure," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 40-49.
  11. David Castells & Vicente Royuela, 2011. "Agglomeration, Inequality and Economic Growth," IREA Working Papers 201114, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2012.
  12. Germà Bel & Xavier Fageda & Melania Mur, 2011. "Privatization, cooperation and costs of solid waste services in small towns," IREA Working Papers 201111, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jul 2011.
  13. Juan Luis Jiménez & Jordi Perdiguero & Ancor Suárez, 2011. "Debating as a classroom tool for adapting learning outcomes to the European higher education area," IREA Working Papers 201109, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jun 2011.
  14. Mildred E. Warner, 2012. "Does Local Government Size Matter? Privatization and Hybrid Systems of Local Service Delivery," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1212, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  15. Alonso, Jose M. & Clifton, Judith & Díaz-Fuentes, Daniel, 2011. "Did New Public Management Matter? An Empirical Analysis of The Outsourcing and Decentralization Effects on Public Sector Size," MPRA Paper 43255, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Alberto Ruiz-Villaverde & Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco González-Gómez, 2013. "The “social choice” of privatising urban water services: a case study of Madrid in Spain," Working Papers 1322, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  17. Germà Bel & Xavier Fageda & Melania Mur, 2011. "Why do municipalities cooperate to provide local public services? An empirical analysis," IREA Working Papers 201118, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Oct 2011.
  18. Miguel Santolino & Catalina Bolancé & Manuela Alcañiz, 2011. "Factors affecting hospital admission and recovery stay duration of in-patient motor victims in Spain," IREA Working Papers 201119, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Oct 2011.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:29:y:2010:i:3:p:553-577. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.