Incentives and the Efficiency of Public Sector-outsourcing Contracts
Outsourcing the provision of traditionally publicly provided services has become commonplace in most industrialized nations. Despite its prevalence, there still is no consensus in the academic literature on the magnitude (and determinants) of expected cost savings to the government, nor the sources of those savings. This article considers the arguments for (and against) outsourcing and then examines the empirical evidence pertaining to whether any observed savings occur and whether they persist over time. In addition, we examine the existing evidence for the 'redistribution hypothesis' and the 'quality-shading hypothesis', which critics have used to argue that outsourcing lowers government expenditure by lowering wages and conditions and/or lower quality services. Finally, we consider the impact of contract design on outsourcing outcomes. While the power of incentives is a strong theme in economics, recent work has suggested that high-powered incentives may be suboptimal for many public sector services, because they may crowd out intrinsic motivation, particularly in instances where agents are highly motivated. We discuss the implications of this insight for the efficiency of public sector outsourcing. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2005.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 19 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0950-0804 |
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0950-0804|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:19:y:2005:i:5:p:767-787. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
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.