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.
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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:
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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
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