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Contracting Out Public Service Provision to Non-for-profit Firms

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  • John Bennett

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  • Elisabetta Iossa

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Abstract

We analyze the contracting out of public service provision to private firms and compare the performance of for-profit and non-for-profit firms. We consider two alternative settings.In the first,the firm has control rights, as under the UK's Private Finance Initiative(PFI). In the second,the goverment retains control rights,as under traditional procurement. The main insights of the paper can be summarized as follows. First, even when an NP cares more than an Fp does about social benefits,it does not follows that provision by an NP yields the higher social benefits.This is because the non-distribution constraint in of an NP may work against its incentives to invest.Second, the new procurement strategy of PFI increases the desirability of NP provision,relative to traditional procurement.Third, a crucial role in determing the desirability of NP provision is played bu the correlation between the effect of investment onsocial benefit and profit and the nature od the firm's investment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University in its series Public Policy Discussion Papers with number 04-12.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bru:bruppp:04-12

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Postal: Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK

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  1. Besley, Timothy J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2004. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 4641, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. John Bennett & Elisabetta Iossa, 2007. "Contracting Out Public Service Provision to Not-for-Profit Firms," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 07-08, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  3. Glaeser, Edward L. & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Not-for-profit entrepreneurs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 99-115, July.
  4. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2000. "Partial Privatization and Incomplete Contracts: The Proper Scope of Government Reconsidered," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 57(4), pages 394-411, August.
  5. John Bennett & Elisabetta Iossa, 2002. "Building and Managing Facilities for Public Services," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 02-08, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  6. Bos, Dieter & De Fraja, Gianni, 2002. "Quality and outside capacity in the provision of health services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 199-218, May.
  7. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2001. "Government Versus Private Ownership Of Public Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1343-1372, November.
  8. Oliver Hart, 2002. "Incomplete Contracts and Public Ownership: Remarks, and an Application to Public-Private Partnerships," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 02/061, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  9. John Bennett & Elisabetta Iossa & Gabriella Legrenzi, 2003. "The Role of Commercial Non-profit Organizations in the Provision of Public Services," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 335-347, Summer.
  10. Bilodeau, Marc & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "Volunteering nonprofit entrepreneurial services," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 117-127, October.
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Cited by:
  1. John Bennett & Elisabetta Iossa, 2005. "Contracting Out Public Service Provision to Not-for-Profit Firms," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 05-14, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  2. Elisabetta Iossa & David Martimort, 2012. "Risk allocation and the costs and benefits of public--private partnerships," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(3), pages 442-474, 09.
  3. Nelarine Cornelius & Mathew Todres & Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj & Adrian Woods & James Wallace, 2008. "Corporate Social Responsibility and the Social Enterprise," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 81(2), pages 355-370, August.
  4. Athias, Laure & Saussier, Stéphane, 2007. "Contractual flexibility or rigidity for public private partnerships? Theory and evidence from infrastructure concession contracts," MPRA Paper 10541, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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