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Incomplete contracts and optimal ownership of public goods

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  • Schmitz, Patrick W

Abstract

The government and a non-governmental organization (NGO) can invest in the provision of a public good. In an incomplete contracting framework, Besley and Ghatak (2001) have argued that the party who values the public good most should be the owner. We show that this conclusion relies on their assumption that the parties split the renegotiation surplus 50:50. If the generalized Nash bargaining solution is applied, then for any pair of valuations that the two parties may have, there exist bargaining powers such that either ownership by the government or by the NGO can be optimal.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9141.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9141

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Keywords: incomplete contracts; investment incentives; ownership; public goods;

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References

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  1. Antràs, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," CEPR Discussion Papers 4170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2001. "Government versus Private Ownership of Public Goods," CEPR Discussion Papers 2725, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  4. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1846, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
  6. Susanne Ohlendorf, 2009. "Expectation Damages, Divisible Contracts, and Bilateral Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1608-18, September.
  7. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475, April.
  8. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2013. "Public goods and the hold-up problem under asymmetric information," MPRA Paper 53717, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Hoppe, Eva I. & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2010. "Public versus private ownership: Quantity contracts and the allocation of investment tasks," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 258-268, April.
  10. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2006. "Information Gathering, Transaction Costs, and the Property Rights Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 422-434, March.
  11. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," NBER Working Papers 5744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Che, Y.K. & Hausch, D.B., 1997. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," Working papers 9714, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  13. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  14. Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka & Evagelos Pafilis, 2009. "Reputation and Ownership of Public Goods," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/211, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  15. Maija Halonen, 2010. "Nature of human capital, technology and ownership of public goods," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/243, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  16. Nöldeke, Georg & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1997. "Sequential Investments and Options to Own," CEPR Discussion Papers 1645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  19. Marco Francesconi & Abhinay Muthoo, 2011. "Control Rights In Complex Partnerships," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 551-589, 06.
  20. Bernhard Ganglmair & Luke M. Froeb & Gregory J. Werden, 2012. "Patent Hold-Up and Antitrust: How A Well-Intentioned Rule Could Retard Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 249-273, 06.
  21. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2013. "Bargaining position, bargaining power, and the property rights approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 28-31.
  2. Halonen-Akatwijuka, Maija & Pafilis, Evagelos, 2014. "Location and ownership of public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 395-397.

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