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Reverse privatization as a reaction to the competitive environment: Evidence from solid waste collection in Germany


  • Juri Demuth

    (E.CA Economics)

  • Hans W. Friederiszick

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology and E.CA Economics)

  • Steffen Reinhold

    (E.CA Economics)


After earlier waves of privatization, local governments have increasingly taken back control of local service provisions in some sectors and countries and, instead, started providing those services themselves (reverse privatization). Using a unique panel data set on the mode of service provision for solid waste collection for German municipalities covering the years 2003, 2009, and 2015, we investigate motives for reverse privatization. Our results show that, in deciding whether to insource or not, municipalities react to the cost advantages of private suppliers as well as to the competitive environment, with more switching to insourcing in concentrated markets. Furthermore, we find local contagion effects, that is, insourcing is more likely if municipalities close by also provide services themselves, whether in horizontally or vertically-related markets. Implications for competition law enforcement are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Juri Demuth & Hans W. Friederiszick & Steffen Reinhold, 2018. "Reverse privatization as a reaction to the competitive environment: Evidence from solid waste collection in Germany," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-18-02, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-18-02

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Germà Bel & Antonio Miralles, 2003. "Factors Influencing the Privatisation of Urban Solid Waste Collection in Spain," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 40(7), pages 1323-1334, June.
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    5. Astrid Cullmann & Maria Nieswand & Stefan Seifert & Caroline Stiel, 2016. "Trend zur (Re-)Kommunalisierung in der Energieversorgung: ein Mythos?," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 83(20), pages 441-447.
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    15. Engartner, Tim, 2009. "Kehrt der Staat zurück? Rekommunalisierungen in den Aufgabenbereichen Entsorgung und Gebäudereinigung," ZögU - Zeitschrift für öffentliche und gemeinwirtschaftliche Unternehmen, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, vol. 32(4), pages 339-355.
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    Local privatization; state-owned enterprises; competition law enforcement; mergers; logit regression;

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