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Outsourcing, Market Structure and Elections

  • Morten Bennedsen

    (Copenhagen Business School)

  • Christian Schultz

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

We make a positive analysis of the impact of market structure and political preferences on a (local) government's decision to outsource public service using the framework of Hart, Shleifer and Vishny (1997). We argue that although outsourcing is more attractive when the privte market is competitive, the outsourcing decision will be the same in a competitive as in a monopolistic market. Second, we analyze how the price paid in a private monopoly market depends on how much the government cares about the benefits of the public service, and we provide conditions for when a "leftist, public service loving" politician outsources to a lower price. When this is the case and outsourcing is a salient issue in an election, the median voter prefers a more "leftist" government to be in charge of the outsourcing.

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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics in its series CIE Discussion Papers with number 2003-05.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieci:2003-05
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  1. Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio, 1997. "Determinants of Privatization Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 965-1025, November.
  2. Bennedsen, Morten, 1999. "Political Ownership," Working Papers 11-1999, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  3. Suzuki, Kenji, 2001. "Marketization of Elderly Care in Sweden," EIJS Working Paper Series 137, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
  4. Hart, Oliver & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-61, November.
  5. 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.
  6. John Vickers & George Yarrow, 1988. "Privatization: An Economic Analysis," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262720116, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
  9. Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State Versus Private Ownership," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1841, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Small, Kenneth A. & Gomez-Ibanez, Jose A., 1999. "Urban transportation," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 1937-1999 Elsevier.
  11. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  12. 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.
  13. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1996. "A Theory of Privatisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 309-19, March.
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