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Public versus private ownership: Quantity contracts and the allocation of investment tasks

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  • Hoppe, Eva I.
  • Schmitz, Patrick W.

Abstract

The government wants a certain good or service to be provided. Should the required assets be publicly or privately owned or should a partnership be formed? Building on the incomplete contracting approach, we argue that the initially specified quantity of an ex ante describable basic good can have important effects on investment incentives, which has been neglected in the literature so far. We also study how the tasks of investing in quality improvements and cost reductions should be assigned. We show how the optimal contracts and governance structures depend on the exogenous parameters of the model such as the nature of the investments and the parties' bargaining powers.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:3-4:p:258-268
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incomplete contracts Contractible control Privatization;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out

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