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Financing and Managing Public Services: An Assessment

  • Paul A Grout
  • Margaret Stevens

    ()

Public services can be, and are, delivered according to a variety of different arrangements. The public sector can finance and provide a service itself, or contract with the private sector to participate in provision, or its role may be limited to regulating a private provider. In this paper we examine the features determining the effectiveness of public-service delivery, including incentives for employees and teams within organizations providing public services, the structure of the organization and the competitive framework that it faces, and the role of the private sector. We assess the reform programme in the UK, which has involved substantial reorganization of public services and increasing involvement of the private sector. Reforms focus on the improvement of incentives; but while incentives are critical, the special characteristics of public services (and the people who provide them) must be recognized in the implementation of new structures and incentive schemes.

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File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp76.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 03/076.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:03/076
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  1. Domberger, Simon & Jensen, Paul, 1997. "Contracting Out by the Public Sector: Theory, Evidence, Prospects," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 67-78, Winter.
  2. Glennerster, Howard, 1991. "Quasi-markets for Education?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1268-76, September.
  3. Patrick Francois, 2003. "Not-For-Profit Provision of Public Services," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages C53-C61, March.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Not-For-Profit Entrepreneurs," NBER Working Papers 6810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hart, Oliver & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-61, November.
  6. Paul A. Grout, 2003. "Public and Private Sector Discount Rates in Public-Private Partnerships," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages C62-C68, March.
  7. Dewatripont, Mathias & Jewitt, Ian & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "The Economics of Career Concerns, Part II: Application to Missions and Accountability of Government Agencies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 199-217, January.
  8. Richard Disney & Amanda Gosling, 1998. "Does it pay to work in the public sector?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 347-374, November.
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