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Government Outsourcing: Public Contracting with Private Monopoly

  • Auriol, Emmanuelle
  • Picard, Pierre

The article studies the impact of the government budget constraint on the regulation of natural monopolies in adverse selection contexts. The government maximises total surplus but incurs some cost of public funds "à la" Laffont and Tirole (1993). Government outsourcing is proposed as an alternative to regulation in which firms freely enter the market and choose their prices and output levels. However the government can contract "ex post" with the private firms. This "ex post" contracting set-up allows more flexibility than regulation where governments commit to both investment and operation cash-flows. This is especially relevant in case of high technological uncertainties. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 382.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Publication status: Published in The Economic Journal, vol.�119, n°540, octobre 2009, p.�1464-1493.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:5223
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  1. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "Incomplete contracts and privatization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 569-579, April.
  2. Mathias Dewatripont & Eric Maskin, 2004. "Credit and efficiency in centralized and decentralized economies," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9605, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  4. Snow, Arthur & Warren, Ronald Jr., 1996. "The marginal welfare cost of public funds: Theory and estimates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 289-305, August.
  5. Kornai, Janos & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1983. "Paternalism, buyers' and sellers' market," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 153-169, November.
  6. Thomas G. McGuire & Michael H. Riordan, 1991. "Incomplete Information and Optimal Market Structure: Public Purchases from Private Providers," Papers 0010, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  7. Stéphane Jacobzone, 2000. "Pharmaceutical Policies in OECD Countries: Reconciling Social and Industrial Goals," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 40, OECD Publishing.
  8. Baron, David P & Myerson, Roger B, 1982. "Regulating a Monopolist with Unknown Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 911-30, July.
  9. Dana, James Jr. & Spier, Kathryn E., 1994. "Designing a private industry : Government auctions with endogenous market structure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 127-147, January.
  10. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
  11. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "The costs and benefits of privatization: An incomplete contracts approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 19773, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1996. "A Theory of Privatisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 309-19, March.
  13. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
  14. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1992. "Regulation by Duopoly," IDEI Working Papers 20, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  16. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Privatization and Incentives," Working papers 572, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  17. Jullien, Bruno, 2000. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-47, July.
  18. J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 12.
  19. Shapiro, C. & Willing, D.R., 1990. "Economic Rationales For The Scope Of Privatization," Papers 41, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  20. Eric S. Maskin, 1999. "Recent Theoretical Work on the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 421-425, May.
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