IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/16003.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal Ownership of Public Goods under Asymmetric Information

Author

Listed:
  • Schmitz, Patrick W.

Abstract

Consider two parties who can make non-contractible investments in the provision of a public good. Who should own the physical assets needed to provide the public good? In the literature it has been argued that the party who values the public good most should be the owner, regardless of the investment technologies. Yet, this result has been derived under the assumption of symmetric information. We show that technology matters when the negotiations over the provision of the public good take place under asymmetric information. If party A has a better investment technology, ownership by party A can be optimal even when party B has a larger expected valuation of the public good.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmitz, Patrick W., 2021. "Optimal Ownership of Public Goods under Asymmetric Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 16003, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:16003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16003
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Buso, Marco & Marty, Frederic & Tran, Phuong Tra, 2017. "Public-private partnerships from budget constraints: Looking for debt hiding?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 56-84.
    2. 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.
    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 1119-1158, December.
    4. Iossa, Elisabetta & Martimort, David, 2015. "Pessimistic information gathering," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 75-96.
    5. Marco Buso, 2019. "Bundling versus unbundling: asymmetric information on information externalities," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 1-25, September.
    6. Williamson, Oliver, 2009. "The Theory of the Firm as Governance Structure: From Choice to Contract," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 6, pages 111-134, December.
    7. David Martimort & Stéphane Straub, 2016. "How To Design Infrastructure Contracts In A Warming World: A Critical Appraisal Of Public–Private Partnerships," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57(1), pages 61-88, February.
    8. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475, August.
    9. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad, 1992. "Gathering Information before Signing a Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 566-578, June.
    10. Maija Halonen, 2002. "Reputation And The Allocation Of Ownership," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 539-558, July.
    11. Valeria Gattai & Piergiovanna Natale, 2017. "A New Cinderella Story: Joint Ventures And The Property Rights Theory Of The Firm," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 281-302, February.
    12. 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, February.
    13. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2021. "Contracting under adverse selection: Certifiable vs. uncertifiable information," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 100-112.
    14. Goldlücke, Susanne & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2018. "Pollution claim settlements reconsidered: Hidden information and bounded payments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 211-222.
    15. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1999. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 115-138.
    16. Marco Francesconi & Abhinay Muthoo, 2011. "Control Rights In Complex Partnerships," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 551-589, June.
    17. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2013. "Incomplete contracts and optimal ownership of public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 94-96.
    18. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1998. "Contracts and Productive Information Gathering," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 174-193, November.
    19. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2012. "Public goods and the hold-up problem under asymmetric information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 642-645.
    20. 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.
    21. 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, March.
    22. Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2003. "Optimal allocation of ownership rights in dynamic R&D alliances," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 153-173, April.
    23. Goldlücke, Susanne & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2014. "Investments as signals of outside options," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 683-708.
    24. Julie Brux & Claudine Desrieux, 2014. "To allot or not to allot public services? An incomplete contract approach," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 455-476, June.
    25. Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 1999. "Separation of Regulators Against Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 232-262, Summer.
    26. George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 1990. "Asymmetric Information Bargaining Problems with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 351-367.
    27. R. H. Coase, 2013. "The Problem of Social Cost," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 837-877.
    28. Gani ALDASHEV & Cecilia NAVARRA, 2018. "Development Ngos: Basic Facts," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(1), pages 125-155, March.
    29. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Legros, Patrick & Zingales, Luigi (ed.), 2016. "The Impact of Incomplete Contracts on Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199826216.
    30. Halonen-Akatwijuka, Maija, 2012. "Nature of human capital, technology and ownership of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 939-945.
    31. David Martimort & Stéphane Straub, 2016. "How To Design Infrastructure Contracts In A Warming World: A Critical Appraisal Of Public–Private Partnerships," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 61-88, February.
    32. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2001. "Government Versus Private Ownership of Public Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1343-1372.
    33. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
    34. Roy, Jaideep & Chowdhury, Prabal Roy, 2009. "Public-private partnerships in micro-finance: Should NGO involvement be restricted?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 200-208, November.
    35. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-1161.
    36. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Legros & Luigi Zingales, 2016. "The Impact of Incomplete Contracts on Economics," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/249190, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    37. Mori, Yusuke, 2017. "A formal model of firm boundaries and haggling," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 15-17.
    38. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2015. "Government versus private ownership of public goods: The role of bargaining frictions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 23-31.
    39. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817.
    40. Ledyard, John O. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2007. "A general characterization of interim efficient mechanisms for independent linear environments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 441-466, March.
    41. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2006. "Information Gathering, Transaction Costs, and the Property Rights Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 422-434, March.
    42. repec:bla:annpce:v:89:y:2018:i:1:p:125-155 is not listed on IDEAS
    43. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1997. "Information Management in Incentive Problems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 796-821, August.
    44. Steven G. Medema, 2020. "The Coase Theorem at Sixty," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1045-1128, December.
    45. Maria Goltsman, 2011. "Optimal information transmission in a holdup problem," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(3), pages 495-526, September.
    46. Su, Alice Peng-Ju, 2017. "Information revelation in the Property Right Theory of the firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 133-164.
    47. Bing Ye & Sanxi Li, 2018. "Competitive contracts with productive information gathering," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 1-17, May.
    48. Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Schmitz, Patrick W., 1999. "Know-how disclosure and incomplete contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 181-185, May.
    49. Müller, Daniel & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2017. "Optimal ownership of public goods in the presence of transaction costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 88-92.
    50. Stephen King & Rohan Pitchford, 2008. "Private or Public? Towards a Taxonomy of Optimal Ownership and Management Regimes," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(266), pages 366-377, September.
    51. Paul Walker, 2016. "From complete to incomplete (contracts): A survey of the mainstream approach to the theory of privatisation," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(2), pages 212-229, August.
    52. Li, Sanxi & Sun, Hailin & Yan, Jianye & Yu, Jun, 2015. "Bundling decisions in procurement auctions with sequential tasks," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 96-106.
    53. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
    54. Alice Peng‐Ju Su, 2017. "Information Acquisition and the Equilibrium Incentive Problem," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 231-256, February.
    55. Peter Norman, 2004. "Efficient Mechanisms for Public Goods with Use Exclusions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1163-1188.
    56. Halonen-Akatwijuka, Maija & Pafilis, Evagelos, 2014. "Location and ownership of public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 395-397.
    57. Valeria Gattai & Piergiovanna Natale, 2014. "Joint Ventures and the Property Rights Theory of the Firm: a Review of the Literature," Working Papers 287, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2014.
    58. 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.
    59. Halonen-Akatwijuka, Maija & Pafilis, Evagelos, 2020. "Common ownership of public goods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 555-578.
    60. repec:hrv:faseco:30727607 is not listed on IDEAS
    61. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
    62. Mori, Yusuke, 2020. "Ex ante investment, ex post adaptation, and joint ownership," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    63. Cremer, Jacques, & Riordan, Michael H, 1985. "A Sequential Solution to the Public Goods Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 77-84, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2021. "Contracting under adverse selection: Certifiable vs. uncertifiable information," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 100-112.
    2. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2017. "Incomplete contracts, shared ownership, and investment incentives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 153-165.
    3. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2015. "Government versus private ownership of public goods: The role of bargaining frictions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 23-31.
    4. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2021. "On the optimality of outsourcing when vertical integration can mitigate information asymmetries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 202(C).
    5. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2006. "Information Gathering, Transaction Costs, and the Property Rights Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 422-434, March.
    6. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2014. "Optimal ownership of public goods reconsidered," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(1), pages 21-24.
    7. Kusterer, David J. & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2018. "Government versus Private Ownership of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 13204, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Eva I. Hoppe & Patrick W. Schmitz, 2021. "How (Not) to Foster Innovations in Public Infrastructure Projects," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 123(1), pages 238-266, January.
    9. Kusterer, David J. & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2020. "Public goods, property rights, and investment incentives: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 514-532.
    10. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2013. "Incomplete contracts and optimal ownership of public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 94-96.
    11. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2010. "Contractual solutions to hold-up problems with quality uncertainty and unobservable investments," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 807-816, September.
    12. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2017. "Asymmetric information and the property rights approach to the theory of the firm," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 96-99.
    13. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2020. "Moral hazard and the property rights approach to the theory of the firm," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 186(C).
    14. Müller, Daniel & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2016. "Transaction costs and the property rights approach to the theory of the firm," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 92-107.
    15. 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, March.
    16. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2019. "Incomplete contracts, limited liability, and the optimality of joint ownership," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 1-1.
    17. Müller, Daniel & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2017. "Optimal ownership of public goods in the presence of transaction costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 88-92.
    18. Schmitz, Patrick W, 2001. "The Hold-up Problem and Incomplete Contracts: A Survey of Recent Topics in Contract Theory," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-17, January.
    19. Kusterer, David J. & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2017. "The management of innovation: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 706-725.
    20. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2008. "Joint ownership and the hold-up problem under asymmetric information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 577-580, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Control Rights; Incomplete Contracts; Investment incentives; private information; Public Goods;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:16003. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.