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Private or public? a taxonomy of optimal ownership and management regimes

  • Pitchford, Rohan
  • King, Stephen

We develop a theory of public versus private ownership based on value diversion by managers. Government is assumed to face stronger institutional constraints than has been assumed in previous literature. The model which emerges from these assumptions is fexible and has wide application. We provide amapping between the qualitative characteristics of an asset, its main use - including public goods characteristics, and spillovers toother assets values - and the optimal ownership and management regime. The model is applied to single and multiple related assets. We address questions such as; when is it optimal to have one of a pair ofr elated assets public and the other private; when is joint management desirable; and when should a public asset be managed by the owner of a related private asset? We show that while private ownership can be judged optimal in some cases solely on the basis of qualitative information, the optimality of any other ownership and management regimes relies on quantitative analysis. Our results reveal the situations in which policy makers will have difficulty in determining the opimal regime.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 401.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:401
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  1. 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, 09.
  2. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1996. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1778, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Privatization and Incentives," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 84-105, Special I.
  4. Jorde, Thomas M & Teece, David J, 1990. "Innovation and Cooperation: Implications for Competition and Antitrust," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 75-96, Summer.
  5. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Power in a Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 387-432.
  6. Pitchford, Rohan & King, Stephen, 2000. "Private or public? a taxonomy of optimal ownership and management regimes," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 401, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  7. Schmidt, Klaus M, 1996. "The Costs and Benefits of Privatization: An Incomplete Contracts Approach," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-24, April.
  8. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1989. "Default And Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model Of Debt," Working papers 520, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Florencio Lopez-deSilanes & Andrei Shleifer & Rober Vishny, 1995. "Privatization in the United States," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1723, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Shapiro, Carl & Willig, Robert D, 1990. "On the Antitrust Treatment of Production Joint Ventures," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 113-30, Summer.
  11. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Suzumura, Kotaro, 1992. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in an Oligopoly with Spillovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1307-20, December.
  13. Pitchford, Rohan, 1995. "How Liable Should a Lender Be? The Case of Judgment-Proof Firms and Environmental Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1171-86, December.
  14. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, March.
  15. David de Meza & Ben Lockwood, 1998. "Does Asset Ownership Always Motivate Managers? Outside Options and the Property Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 361-386.
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