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Optimal ownership of public goods reconsidered

Listed author(s):
  • Schmitz, Patrick W.

Consider a non-governmental organization (NGO) that can invest in a public good. Should the government or the NGO own the public project? In an incomplete contracting framework with split-the-difference bargaining, Besley and Ghatak (2001) argue that the party who values the public good most should be the owner. We demonstrate the robustness of their insight when the split-the-difference rule is replaced by the deal-me-out solution. Our finding is in contrast to the private good results of Chiu (1998) and De Meza and Lockwood (1998), who show that the optimal ownership structure crucially depends on whether the split-the-difference rule or the deal-me-out solution is used.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165176514002936
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 125 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 21-24

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:125:y:2014:i:1:p:21-24
DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2014.08.003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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  1. Chiu, Y. Stephen & Rachel Yang, B., 1999. "The outside option, threat point, and Nash bargaining solution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 181-188, February.
  2. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2013. "Incomplete contracts and optimal ownership of public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 94-96.
  3. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1999. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 115-138.
  4. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
  5. 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.
  6. Oliver Hart, 2011. "Thinking about the Firm: A Review of Daniel Spulber's The Theory of the Firm," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 101-113, March.
  7. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475, August.
  8. Chiu, Y Stephen, 1998. "Noncooperative Bargaining, Hostages, and Optimal Asset Ownership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 882-901, September.
  9. Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka & Evagelos Pafilis, 2009. "Reputation and Ownership of Public Goods," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/211, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  10. Marco Francesconi & Abhinay Muthoo, 2011. "Control Rights In Complex Partnerships," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 551-589, 06.
  11. Halonen-Akatwijuka, Maija, 2012. "Nature of human capital, technology and ownership of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 939-945.
  12. Ken Binmore & Avner Shared & John Sutton, 1989. "An Outside Option Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 753-770.
  13. Halonen-Akatwijuka, Maija & Pafilis, Evagelos, 2014. "Location and ownership of public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 395-397.
  14. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  15. Hoppe, Eva I. & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2010. "Public versus private ownership: Quantity contracts and the allocation of investment tasks," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 258-268, April.
  16. Goldl├╝cke, Susanne & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2014. "Investments as signals of outside options," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 683-708.
  17. David de Meza & Ben Lockwood, 1998. "Does Asset Ownership Always Motivate Managers? Outside Options and the Property Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 361-386.
  18. ., 2013. "Property and real rights," Chapters,in: Law and Economics for Civil Law Systems, chapter 8, pages 232-298 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  19. 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.
  20. Grosjean Pauline, 2010. "Maintenance Costs, Outside Options and Optimal Ownership of a Public Good," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-18, November.
  21. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817.
  22. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2006. "Information Gathering, Transaction Costs, and the Property Rights Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 422-434, March.
  23. repec:hrv:faseco:30727607 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Binmore, Ken & Morgan, Peter & Snaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1991. "Do people exploit their bargaining power? An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 295-322, August.
  25. David de Meza & Ben Lockwood, 2004. "Spillovers, Investment Incentives and the Property Rights Theory of the Firm," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 229-253, 06.
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