Does privatising public service provision reduce accountability?
AbstractThis paper studies how privatising service provision (shifting control rights and contractual obligations to providers) affects accountability. There are two main effects. (1) Privatisation demotivates governments from investigating and responding to public demands, since providers then hold up service adaptations. (2) Privatisation demotivates the public from mobilising to pressure for service adaptations, since providers then indirectly holdup the public by inflating the government’s cost of implementing these adaptations. So, when choosing governance mode, politicians may be biased towards privatising as a way to escape public attention; relatedly, privatising utilities may reduce public pressure and increase consumer prices.
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 Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 997.
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/
Public Services; Privatisation; Voter Mobilisation; Accountability; Government Responsiveness; Contract Length; Incomplete Contracts; Holdup;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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.:
- Bennedsen, Morten, 2000. "Political ownership," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 559-581, June.
- Anke S. Kessler & Christoph Lülfesmann, 2001. "Monitoring and Productive Efficiency in Public and Private Firms," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(2), pages 167-, February.
- Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2003.
"Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1176-1206, 09.
- Stephen Coate & Timothy Besley, 2000. "Elected versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory And Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Klaus M. Schmidt, 1990.
"The Costs and Benefits of Privatization,"
Discussion Paper Serie A
287, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1996.
"The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1778, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1991.
"Privatization and Incentives,"
572, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000.
"The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India,"
STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers
28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy Of Government Responsiveness: Theory And Evidence From India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451, November.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 2721, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Besley, Timothy & Burgess, Robin, 2001. "Political agency, government responsiveness and the role of the media," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 629-640, May.
- Eric Maskin, 2003.
"The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government,"
Theory workshop papers
505798000000000076, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Economics Working Papers 0020, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Matthew Ellman, 2006. "The optimal length of contracts with application to outsourcing," Economics Working Papers 965, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- John Kwoka, 2005. "The comparative advantage of public ownership: evidence from U.S. electric utilities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 622-640, May.
- John E. Kwoka, Jr., 2002. "Governance Alternatives and Pricing in the U.S. Electric Power Industry," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 278-294, April.
- Morten Bennedsen & Christian Schultz, 2007.
"Arm’s Length Provision of Public Services,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
2161, CESifo Group Munich.
- Laure ATHIAS & Raphael SOUBEYRAN, 2012. "Less Risk, More Effort: Demand Risk Allocation in Incomplete Contracts," Working Papers 12-20, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jun 2012.
- Athias, Laure, 2007. "Political accountability, incentives, and Contractual design of public private partnerships," MPRA Paper 10538, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Bennedsen, Morten & Schultz, Christian, 2011. "Arm's length delegation of public services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 543-552.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.