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Contracting welfare-to-work services: use and usefulness

Author

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  • Pierre Koning

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

This paper contributes to the broad literature on public services contracting in two ways: We provide an empirical analysis of contracting decisions in the provision of welfare-to-work (WTW) services, and we explicitly model two forms of external provision of WTW services by municipalities. We estimate both the WTW-contracting decisions of Dutch municipalities and their impact on the performance, measured as the fraction of Social Assistance recipients. The two forms of external provision are (1) Contracting with other municipalities and/or (2) Contracting-out services to private providers. Our findings suggest that contracting decisions are predominantly driven by cost considerations, both for the decision to contract with other municipalities and the share of contracting out to private providers. Municipalities with low WTW budgets or facing budget constraints are more likely to contract with external parties – presumably this reduces their costs and the risk of future budget deficits. We do not find contracting decisions to affect the performance of municipalities, measured as the use, inflow or outflow out of the SA scheme. From this alone, however, we cannot conclude that both the three provision modes are equally cost-effective too, as external provision may be less costly.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Koning, 2009. "Contracting welfare-to-work services: use and usefulness," CPB Discussion Paper 135, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:135
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    File URL: http://www.cpb.nl/sites/default/files/publicaties/download/contracting-welfare-work-services.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Riemer P. Faber & Pierre Koning, 2017. "Why not fully spend a conditional block grant?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(1), pages 60-95, February.
    2. Pierre Koning & C.J. Heinrich, 2009. "Cream-skimming, parking and other intended and unintended effects of performance-based contracting in social welfare services," CPB Discussion Paper 134, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H44 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Goods: Mixed Markets
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures

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