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From Public Monopsony to Competitive Market: More Efficiency but Higher Prices

  • Josse Delfgaauw
  • Robert Dur

This paper examines the consequences of creating a fully competitive market in a sector previously dominated by a cost-minimising public firm. Workers in the economy are heterogeneous in their motivation to work in the sector. In line with empirical findings, our model implies that firms in the competitive market provide stronger monetary incentives to workers, reach higher productivity, and employ less workers than the public firm. Allocative efficiency therefore increases. Nevertheless, prices of the sector’s output rise as competition between private firms for the best motivated workers leads to higher wage cost than under the public monopsony. Political support for liberalisation may therefore be limited.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2003/wp-cesifo-2003-12/cesifo1_wp1095.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1095.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1095
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  1. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio López-De-Silanes, 1999. "The Benefits Of Privatization: Evidence From Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1193-1242, November.
  3. 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.
  4. Haskel, Jonathan & Szymanski, Stefan, 1993. "Privatization, Liberalization, Wages and Employment: Theory and Evidence for the UK," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 60(238), pages 161-81, May.
  5. Megginson, William L & Nash, Robert C & van Randenborgh, Matthias, 1994. " The Financial and Operating Performance of Newly Privatized Firms: An International Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 403-52, June.
  6. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Privatization and Incentives," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 84-105, Special I.
  7. Alan Manning & Ted To, 2002. "Oligopsony and Monopsonistic Competition in Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-174, Spring.
  8. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur, 2003. "Signaling and Screening of Workers' motivation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1099, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
  10. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  11. Booth, Alison L & Zoega, Gylfi, 2002. "If You're so Smart, Why Aren't You Rich? Wage Inequality with Heterogenous Workers?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3190, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Kikeri, Sunita & Nellis, John, 2002. "Privatization in competitive sectors : the record to date," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2860, The World Bank.
  13. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1996. "A Theory of Privatisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 309-19, March.
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