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Owner or Holder? A Critical Study of Property Rights in Public Services

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  • Claudine Desrieux

Abstract

This paper deals with efficient organizational choices for the provision of public services. To better apprehend observed contracts of public-private partnerships, we depart from the property -rights literature to distinguish between ownership, rights to make residual decisions, and rights to receive residual benefits. Indeed, such rights can be temporarily transferred to a private firm, even if ownership of the assets remains public. Hence, such a separation makes it possible to analyse the large continuum of contracts from full private to full public management. Our results show that there is always a degree of private involvement that is socially efficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudine Desrieux, 2009. "Owner or Holder? A Critical Study of Property Rights in Public Services," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(2), pages 230-249, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200906)165:2_230:oohacs_2.0.tx_2-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Eshien Chong & Freddy Huet & Stéphane Saussier, 2006. "Auctions, Ex Post Competition And Prices: The Efficiency Of Public-Private Partnerships ," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 77(4), pages 521-554, December.
    4. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84.
    5. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1996. "A Theory of Privatisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 309-319, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2017. "Incomplete contracts, shared ownership, and investment incentives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 153-165.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • 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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