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Working in Public and Private Firms

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  • 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

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2719.

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Date of creation: Mar 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2719

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Keywords: Incentive Schemes; Privatization; Public Enterprise;

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References

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  1. Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State Versus Private Ownership," NBER Working Papers 6665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Chamley, C. & Marchand, M. & Pestieau, P., 1986. "Linear incentive schemes to control public firms," CORE Discussion Papers, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) 1986041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. De Fraja, Giovanni, 1993. "Productive efficiency in public and private firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 15-30, January.
  4. Corneo, Giacomo & Rob, Rafael, 2001. "Working in Public and Private Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 2719, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Hart, Oliver & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-61, November.
  7. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
  8. 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.
  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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-33, April.
  10. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Privatization and Incentives," Working papers 572, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Drago, Robert & Garvey, Gerald T, 1998. "Incentives for Helping on the Job: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, January.
  14. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
  15. Weiss, Andrew W, 1980. "Job Queues and Layoffs in Labor Markets with Flexible Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 526-38, June.
  16. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  17. repec:sae:niesru:v:107:y::i:1:p:63-73 is not listed on IDEAS
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