Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Outsourcing Public Services: Ownership, Competition, Quality and Contracting

Contents:

Author Info

  • Andersson, Fredrik

    ()
    (Lund University)

  • Jordahl, Henrik

    ()
    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

We survey the literature on the effects of public sector outsourcing. Guided by theory, we systematically arrange services according to the type and magnitude of their contractibility problems. Taken as a whole, the empirical literature indicates that public sector outsourcing generally reduces costs without hurting quality. This is clearly the case for “perfectly contractible services” like garbage collection, but outsourcing often seems to work reasonably well also for some services with more difficult contracting problems, e.g. fire protection and prisons. Outsourcing seems to be more problematic for credence goods, with residential youth care as the prime example. In contrast to previous reviews, we conclude that ownership and competition appear to be about equally important for the consequences of public sector outsourcing.

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://www.ifn.se/wfiles/wp/wp874.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 874.

as in new window
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 16 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0874

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
Email:
Web page: http://www.ifn.se/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Outsourcing; Contracts; Tendering; Ownership; Competition; Quality;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

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. Bedard, Kelly & Frech, Ted E, 2007. "Prison Health Care: Is Contracting Out Healthy?," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6vh3429f, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  2. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
  3. Nicoletti, Giuseppe & Ardagna, Silvia & Alesina, Alberto & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2005. "Regulation and Investment," Scholarly Articles 2579825, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Nicholas Bloom & Carol Propper & Stephan Seiler & John Van Reenen, 2010. "The Impact of Competition on Management Quality: Evidence from Public Hospitals," NBER Working Papers 16032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Not-For-Profit Entrepreneurs," NBER Working Papers 6810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jonathan Levin & Steven Tadelis, 2010. "CONTRACTING FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICES: THEORY AND EVIDENCE FROM U.S. CITIES -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 507-541, 09.
  8. Domberger, S & Meadowcroft, S & Thompson, D, 1988. "Competition and efficiency in refuse collection : a reply," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 86-90, February.
  9. Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Incomplete Contracts and Privatization," Discussion Paper Serie A 480, University of Bonn, Germany.
  10. José Manuel González-Páramo & Pablo Hernández Cos, 2005. "The Impact of Public Ownership and Competition on Productivity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 495-517, November.
  11. Henry Ohlsson, 2003. "Ownership and Production Costs: Choosing between Public Production and Contracting-Out in the Case of Swedish Refuse Collection," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(4), pages 451-476, December.
  12. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "Incomplete contracts and privatization," Munich Reprints in Economics 19776, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. Eggleston, Karen, 2008. "Soft budget constraints and the property rights theory of ownership," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 425-427, September.
  14. Atif Mian, 2008. "Incentives in Markets, Firms, and Governments," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 273-306, October.
  15. Gregory Lewis & Patrick Bajari, 2011. "Procurement Contracting With Time Incentives: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1173-1211.
  16. E. Dijkgraaf & R. H. J. M. Gradus, 2007. "Fair competition in the refuse collection market?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(10), pages 701-704.
  17. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  18. Domberger, Simon & Hall, Christine & Li, Eric Ah Lik, 1995. "The Determinants of Price and Quality in Competitively Tendered Contracts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1454-70, November.
  19. Gregg, Paul & Grout, Paul A. & Ratcliffe, Anita & Smith, Sarah & Windmeijer, Frank, 2011. "How important is pro-social behaviour in the delivery of public services?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 758-766, August.
  20. 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, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-61, November.
  21. Bayer, Patrick & Pozen, David E, 2005. "The Effectiveness of Juvenile Correctional Facilities: Public versus Private Management," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 549-89, October.
  22. Paul H. Jensen & Robin E. Stonecash, 2005. "Incentives and the Efficiency of Public Sector-outsourcing Contracts," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 767-787, December.
  23. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
  24. John Bennett & Elisabetta Iossa, 2004. "Building and Managing Facilities for Public Services," Public Policy Discussion Papers 02-08, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  25. Klemperer, Paul, 1999. " Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 227-86, July.
  26. Gaynor, Martin & Moreno-Serra, Rodrigo & Propper, Carol, 2011. "Death by Market Power: Reform, Competition and Patient Outcomes in the National Health Service," CEPR Discussion Papers 8203, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Robert McGuire & T. COTT, 1984. "Public versus private economic activity: A new look at school bus transportation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 25-43, January.
  28. Stevens, Barbara J, 1978. "Scale, Market Structure, and the Cost of Refuse Collection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(3), pages 438-48, August.
  29. Ann P. Bartel & Ann E. Harrison, 2005. "Ownership Versus Environment: Disentangling the Sources of Public-Sector Inefficiency," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 135-147, February.
  30. 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.
  31. Henrik Christoffersen & Martin Paldam & Allan Würtz, 2007. "Public versus private production and economies of scale," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 311-328, March.
  32. Stefan Szymanski, 1996. "The impact of compulsory competitive tendering on refuse collection services," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(3), pages 1-19, August.
  33. Canice Prendergast, 2003. "The Limits of Bureaucratic Efficiency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 929-958, October.
  34. Martimort, David & Pouyet, Jerome, 2008. "To build or not to build: Normative and positive theories of public-private partnerships," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 393-411, March.
  35. Paul Klemperer, 2001. "How (Not) to Run Auctions: the European 3G Telecom Auctions," Economics Papers 2002-W5, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, revised 01 Nov 2001.
  36. Ohlsson, H., 1995. "Ownership and Input Prices a Comparison of Public and Private Entreprises," Papers 1995-08, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  37. Andersson Fredrik, 2011. "Make-or-Buy Decisions and the Manipulability of Performance Measures," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-30, December.
  38. Patrick Francois & Michael Vlassopoulos, 2008. "Pro-social Motivation and the Delivery of Social Services," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 54(1), pages 22-54, March.
  39. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  40. Nicoletti, Giuseppe & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2003. "Regulation, productivity, and growth : OECD evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2944, The World Bank.
  41. Robin Milne & Magnus McGee, 1992. "Compulsory competitive tendering in the NHS: a new look at some old estimates," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 96-111, August.
  42. Christopher M. Snyder & Robert P. Trost & R. Derek Trunkey, 2001. "Reducing Government Spending With Privatization Competitions: A Study Of The Department Of Defense Experience," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 108-117, February.
  43. Gupta, Nandini & Ham, Jhon C. & Svejnar, Jan, 2008. "Priorities and sequencing in privatization: Evidence from Czech firm panel data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 183-208, February.
  44. Robin G. Milne & Robert E. Wright, 2004. "Competition and Costs: Evidence from Competitive Tendering in the Scottish National Health Service," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(1), pages 1-23, 02.
  45. Domberger, S & Meadowcroft, S & Thompson, D, 1987. "The impact of competitive tendering on the costs of hospital domestic services," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 8(4), pages 39-54, November.
  46. Howitt, Peter & Griffith, Rachel & Aghion, Philippe & Blundell, Richard & Bloom, Nick, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted-U Relationship," Scholarly Articles 4481507, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  47. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-94, March.
  48. Blom-Hansen, Jens, 2003. " Is Private Delivery of Public Services Really Cheaper? Evidence from Public Road Maintenance in Denmark," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 115(3-4), pages 419-38, June.
  49. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond Gradus, 2004. "Cost savings of contracting out refuse collection," Public Economics 0409002, EconWPA.
  50. AndréS GóMez-Lobo & Stefan Szymanski, 2001. "A Law of Large Numbers: Bidding and Compulsory Competitive Tendering for Refuse Collection Contracts," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 105-113, February.
  51. Hermalin, Benjamin E & Katz, Michael L, 1991. "Moral Hazard and Verifiability: The Effects of Renegotiation in Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1735-53, November.
  52. Sandro Cabral & Sergio Lazzarini & Paulo Azevedo, 2010. "Private operation with public supervision: evidence of hybrid modes of governance in prisons," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 281-293, October.
  53. Domberger, Simon & Jensen, Paul, 1997. "Contracting Out by the Public Sector: Theory, Evidence, Prospects," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 67-78, Winter.
  54. Owen Thompson, 2011. "The estimated cost impact of privatizing student transportation in Minnesota school districts," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 319-339, March.
  55. Paul A. Grout & Margaret Stevens, 2003. "The Assessment: Financing and Managing Public Services," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 215-234, Summer.
  56. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Elinder, Mikael & Jordahl, Henrik, 2011. "Political Preferences and Public Sector Outsourcing," Working Paper Series 877, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Laun, Lisa & Thoursie, Peter Skogman, 2014. "Does privatisation of vocational rehabilitation improve labour market opportunities? Evidence from a field experiment in Sweden," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 59-72.

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:hhs:iuiwop:0874. 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: (Elisabeth Gustafsson).

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.