Public-private partnerships, cooperative agreements, and the production of public services in small and rural municipalities
AbstractUsing data from approximately 1,000 small and mostly rural municipalities from Illinois, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, the authors study choices in production arrangements over a wide range of services, and examine a variety of contracting options available to local governments. The data reveal that municipalities often rely on contracts to provide an extensive list of services. ; The use of for-profit contractors and cooperative agreements with other governments correlates negatively with population. Nonetheless, small municipalities are less likely to use competitive bidding processes, compare costs between production options, and report that privatization produces savings. Other factors, such as median income, rural geography, and ideology, show statistically significant associations with contracting choices. ; Respondents generally consider themselves "satisfied" with services provided by contract, although satisfaction levels are lower than those associated with self-provision. Satisfaction with services provided by other governments is lower than satisfaction with services provided by private contractors. This suggests that small municipalities encounter no tradeoff in service quality directly attributable to for-profit contractors.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series New England Public Policy Center Working Paper with number 08-4.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Catherine Spozio).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.