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Incomplete Contracts and Public Ownership: Remarks, and an Application to Public-Private Partnerships

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  • Oliver Hart

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

The question of what should determine the boundaries between public and private firms in an advanced capitalist economy is a highly topical one. In this paper I discuss some recent theoretical thinking on this issue. I divide the paper into two parts. First, I make some general remarks about the relationship between the theoretical literature on privatisation and incomplete contracting theories of the firm. Second, I use some of the ideas from this literature to develop a very preliminary model of public-private partnerships. Copyright Royal Economic Society 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Hart, 2003. "Incomplete Contracts and Public Ownership: Remarks, and an Application to Public-Private Partnerships," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages 69-76, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:113:y:2003:i:486:p:c69-c76
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bennett, John & Iossa, Elisabetta, 2006. "Building and managing facilities for public services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 2143-2160, November.
    2. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2001. "Government Versus Private Ownership of Public Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1343-1372.
    3. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-1161.
    4. King, S. & Pitchford, R., 1998. "Private or Public? A Taxonomy of Optimal Ownership and Management Regimes," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 625, The University of Melbourne.
    5. Stephen King & Rohan Pitchford, 2008. "Private or Public? Towards a Taxonomy of Optimal Ownership and Management Regimes," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(266), pages 366-377, September.
    6. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, December.
    7. Hart, Oliver D. & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, R. W., 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," Scholarly Articles 30727607, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Grout, Paul A, 1997. "The Economics of the Private Finance Initiative," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 53-66, Winter.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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