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When Is A Service An Essential Public Service?

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  • Steven Van De Walle

Abstract

Citizens consider certain public (and private) services as essential services and therefore to be shielded from the full extent of market forces. Little is known about why some services are considered essential public services while other sometimes very similar services are not. In this article, we analyze public opinion using Eurobarometer data to test models exploring what factors determine whether citizens in 15 EU countries consider certain services as essential services and therefore to be provided to all. Despite the variety in public opinion, political orientations and geographic factors do little to explain why citizens have different opinions about the provision of public services. The article ends by outlining a research agenda for the further analysis of this underexplored research topic. Copyright © 2009 The Author Journal compilation © CIRIEC 2009.

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  • Steven Van De Walle, 2009. "When Is A Service An Essential Public Service?," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 80(4), pages 521-545, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:80:y:2009:i:4:p:521-545
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gathon, H. -J. & Pestieau, P., 1995. "Decomposing efficiency into its managerial and its regulatory components: The case of European railways," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 500-507, February.
    2. Bernadette Biatour & Mathieu Lefebvre & Sergio Pereleman & Pierre Pestieau, 2005. "Faut-il un ou plusieurs indicateurs d'exclusion sociale?," CREPP Working Papers 0503, Centre de Recherche en Economie Publique et de la Population (CREPP) (Research Center on Public and Population Economics) HEC-Management School, University of Liège.
    3. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & Bleichrodt, Han & Calonge, Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna & Hakkinen, Unto & Leu, Robert E., 1997. "Income-related inequalities in health: some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 93-112, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Judith Clifton & Daniel Díaz‐Fuentes & Marcos Fernández‐Gutiérrez & Julio Revuelta, 2011. "Is Market‐Oriented Reform Producing A ‘Two‐Track’ Europe? Evidence From Electricity And Telecommunications," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 82(4), pages 495-513, December.

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