Simultaneous Public and Private Provision of Services, Asymmetric Information and Innovation
Public and private provision of a service coexist. There is asymmetric information between the government and the agency providing the public service with respect to the costs, the quality of the service and the innovation effort of the agency. We examine the optimal government design of the funding contracts to induce the agency to reveal its costs and exert high innovation effort. The optimizing behaviour of consumers and private firms generates observable information, which can be used by the government to reduce its information problem. In the optimal contracts, the informational rents of the agency increase with the level of innovation effort that the government induces from the agency. Correlation between public and the private sector costs results in a trade-off in the government's policy between inducing innovation and extracting the informational rent of the agency. To increase the redistribution inherent in the public provision of the service, the government will manipulate the expected profits of the private firms to induce higher innovation effort. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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