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Incomplete contracts and optimal ownership of public goods

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  • Schmitz, Patrick W

Abstract

The government and a non-governmental organization (NGO) can invest in the provision of a public good. In an incomplete contracting framework, Besley and Ghatak (2001) have argued that the party who values the public good most should be the owner. We show that this conclusion relies on their assumption that the parties split the renegotiation surplus 50:50. If the generalized Nash bargaining solution is applied, then for any pair of valuations that the two parties may have, there exist bargaining powers such that either ownership by the government or by the NGO can be optimal.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmitz, Patrick W, 2012. "Incomplete contracts and optimal ownership of public goods," CEPR Discussion Papers 9141, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9141
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475.
    4. 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.
    5. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1999. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 115-138.
    6. 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.
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    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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    17. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2013. "Bargaining position, bargaining power, and the property rights approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 28-31.
    2. 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.
    3. Gui, Emi Minghui & Diesendorf, Mark & MacGill, Iain, 2017. "Distributed energy infrastructure paradigm: Community microgrids in a new institutional economics context," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1355-1365.
    4. Laura Abrardi & Luca Colombo & Pier Angelo Mori, 2016. "Customer Ownership And Quality Provision In Public Services Under Asymmetric Information," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1499-1518, July.
    5. Bin R. Chen & Y. Stephen Chiu, 2014. "Task Interdependence and Noncontractibility in Public-Good Provision," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 170(4), pages 731-748, December.
    6. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2014. "Optimal ownership of public goods reconsidered," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(1), pages 21-24.
    7. Halonen-Akatwijuka, Maija & Pafilis, Evagelos, 2014. "Location and ownership of public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 395-397.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    incomplete contracts; investment incentives; ownership; public goods;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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