IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Public-private partnerships versus traditional procurement: An experimental investigation

  • Eva I. Hoppe


    (Department of Economics, University of Cologne)

  • David J. Kusterer


    (Department of Economics, University of Cologne)

  • Patrick W. Schmitz


    (Department of Economics, University of Cologne)

A government agency wants an infrastructure-based public service to be provided. Our experimental study compares two different modes of provision. In a public-private partnership, the two tasks of building the infrastructure and operating it are delegated to one private contractor (a consortium), while under traditional procurement, these tasks are delegated to separate contractors. We find support for the theoretical prediction that, compared to traditional procurement, a public-private partnership provides stronger incentives to make cost-reducing investments (which may increase or decrease service quality). In two additional treatments, we study governance structures which explicitly take subcontracting within private consortia into account.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences in its series Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series with number 02-02.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cgr:cgsser:02-02
Contact details of provider: Postal:
0221 / 470 5607

Phone: 0221 / 470 5607
Fax: 0221 / 470 5179
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Cox, James C. & Isacc, R. Mark & Cech, Paula-Ann & Conn, David, 1996. "Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection in Procurement Contracting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 147-176, December.
  2. Maria Bigoni & Giancarlo Spagnolo & Paola Valbonesi, 2010. "Sticks and Carrots in Procurement," CEIS Research Paper 157, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 28 May 2010.
  3. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  4. Chen, Bin R. & Chiu, Y. Stephen, 2010. "Public-private partnerships: Task interdependence and contractibility," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 591-603, November.
  5. Martimort, David & Pouyet, Jerome, 2008. "To build or not to build: Normative and positive theories of public-private partnerships," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 393-411, March.
  6. Elisabetta Iossa & David Martimort, 2011. "The Theory of Incentives Applied to the Transport Sector," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 29 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  7. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
  8. Warwick McKibbin & Timo Henckel, 2010. "The Economics of Infrastructure in a Globalized World: Issues, Lessons and Future Challenges," CAMA Working Papers 2010-39, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  9. Francesconi, Marco & Muthoo, Abhinay, 2006. "Control Rights in Public-Private Partnerships," CEPR Discussion Papers 5733, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism - Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. David Martimort & Flavio Menezes & Myrna Wooders & ELISABETTA IOSSA & DAVID MARTIMORT, 2015. "The Simple Microeconomics of Public-Private Partnerships," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(1), pages 4-48, 02.
  12. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Eva I. Hoppe & Patrick W. Schmitz, 2013. "Public-private partnerships versus traditional procurement: Innovation incentives and information gathering," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(1), pages 56-74, 03.
  14. Bennett, John & Elisabetta Iossa, 2002. "Building and Managing Facilities for Public Services," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 22, Royal Economic Society.
  15. J. Guasch & Jean-Jacques Laffont & Stéphane Straub, 2006. "Renegotiation of Concession Contracts: A Theoretical Approach," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 29(1), pages 55-73, September.
  16. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Price competition and market concentration: an experimental study," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-22, January.
  17. 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.
  18. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. 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.
  20. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 1999. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 106-134, February.
  21. Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-459.
  22. Eshien Chong & Freddy Huet & Stéphane Saussier & Faye Steiner, 2006. "Public-Private Partnerships and Prices: Evidence from Water Distribution in France," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 29(1), pages 149-169, September.
  23. Oliver Hart, 2002. "Incomplete Contracts and Public Ownership: Remarks, and an Application to Public-Private Partnerships," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 02/061, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  24. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, December.
  25. Besley, Timothy J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2001. "Government versus Private Ownership of Public Goods," CEPR Discussion Papers 2725, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Werner Güth & Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel & Sabine Kröger, 2006. "Procurement Experiments With Unknown Costs Of Quality," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 133-148, 06.
  27. Elisabetta Iossa, 2005. "Delegation of Contracting in the Private Provision of Public Services," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/125, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  28. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," NBER Working Papers 5744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Takeshi Nishimura, 2011. "Incomplete Procurement Contracting with a Risk-Averse Agent," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd10-165, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  30. Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka & Evagelos Pafilis, 2009. "Reputation and Ownership of Public Goods," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/211, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  31. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  32. Chong Eshien & Freddy Huet, 2006. "Public-private partnerships and prices : evidence from water distribution in France," Post-Print halshs-00479490, HAL.
  33. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2005. "Allocating Control in Agency Problems with Limited Liability and Sequential Hidden Actions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 318-336, Summer.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cgr:cgsser:02-02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Kusterer)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.