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Public-private partnerships: Task interdependence and contractibility

  • Chen, Bin R.
  • Chiu, Y. Stephen

We examine the proper scope of public-private partnerships in the context of a project consisting of two tasks, building and operation of a facility. We investigate the optimal arrangement regarding bundling versus unbundling and private ownership versus public ownership. Like Bennett and Iossa (2006), we assume that the innovative activity in the building stage has impacts on, among other things, the subsequent operational cost. We relax the nature of task interdependence and study different contractual frameworks. The general insight is that given limitations in contractibility, contrary to common sense, complementarity between tasks favors unbundling over bundling.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 28 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 591-603

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:6:p:591-603
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. Itoh, Hideshi, 1992. "Cooperation in Hierarchical Organizations: An Incentive Perspective," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 321-45, April.
  2. Chen, Bin R. & Chiu, Y. Stephen, 2010. "Public-private partnerships: Task interdependence and contractibility," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 591-603, November.
  3. David Martimort & Flavio Menezes & Myrna Wooders & ELISABETTA IOSSA & DAVID MARTIMORT, 2015. "The Simple Microeconomics of Public-Private Partnerships," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(1), pages 4-48, 02.
  4. John Bennett & Elisabetta Iossa, 2002. "Building and Managing Facilities for Public Services," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 02-08, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
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  7. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2005. "Allocating Control in Agency Problems with Limited Liability and Sequential Hidden Actions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 318-336, Summer.
  8. 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.
  9. Vladimir Smirnov & Andrew Wait, 2004. "Hold-up and Sequential Specific Investments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(2), pages 386-400, Summer.
  10. Matthew Ellman, 2006. "The optimal length of contracts with application to outsourcing," Economics Working Papers 965, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Che, Yeon-Koo, 2000. "Can a Contract Solve Hold-Up When Investments Have Externalities? A Comment on De Fraja (1999)," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 195-205, November.
  12. Francesconi, Marco & Muthoo, Abhinay, 2010. "Control Rights in Complex Partnerships," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 933, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  14. Bajari, Patrick & Tadelis, Steven, 2001. "Incentives versus Transaction Costs: A Theory of Procurement Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 387-407, Autumn.
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  16. De Fraja, Gianni, 1999. "After You Sir. Hold-Up, Direct Externalities, and Sequential Investment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 22-39, January.
  17. Martimort, David & Pouyet, Jérôme, 2006. "'Build It or Not': Normative and Positive Theories of Public-Private Partnerships," CEPR Discussion Papers 5610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "The Management of Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1185-1209.
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