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Government versus Private Ownership of Public Goods

Author

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  • Besley, Timothy J.
  • Ghatak, Maitreesh

Abstract

There has been a dramatic change in the division of responsibility between the state and the private sector for the delivery of public goods and services in recent years with an increasing trend towards contracting out to the private sector and ‘public-private partnerships’. This Paper analyses how ownership matters in public good provision. We show that if contracts are incomplete then the ownership of a public good should lie with a party that values the benefits generated by it relatively more. This is true regardless of whether this party is also the key investor, or other aspects of the technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Besley, Timothy J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2001. "Government versus Private Ownership of Public Goods," CEPR Discussion Papers 2725, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2725
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    Keywords

    Public Goods; Public Ownership; Public-Private Partnerships;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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