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Partial Privatization and Incomplete Contracts: The Proper Scope of Government Reconsidered

  • Schmitz, Patrick W.

In this paper it is argued that privatization is not the only alternative to public ownership. Adopting the incomplete contract approach, it is shown that partial privatization may well be the optimal ownership structure. While in the standard incomplete contract model joint ownership is usually dominated, it is shown here that joint ownership in the form of partial privatization can be optimal since it mitigates the disadvantages of public ownership (no incentives to improve quality if the manager invests or too strong incentives if the government invests) and of privatization (too strong incentives for the manager to reduce costs).

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13447/1/MPRA_paper_13447.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13447.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13447
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  1. Hermalin, Benjamin E & Katz, Michael L, 1993. "Judicial Modification of Contracts between Sophisticated Parties: A More Complete View of Incomplete Contracts and Their Breach," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 230-55, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Power In A Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 387-432, May.
  5. Georg Nöldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1992. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation - A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," Discussion Paper Serie A 417, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Aug 1993.
  6. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Management of Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1185-1209, November.
  7. Schmitz, Patrick W, 2001. "The Hold-up Problem and Incomplete Contracts: A Survey of Recent Topics in Contract Theory," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-17, January.
  8. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Boardman, Anthony E & Vining, Aidan R, 1989. "Ownership and Performance in Competitive Environments: A Comparison of the Performance of Private, Mixed, and State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-33, April.
  10. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  11. De Meza, D. & Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "Does Asset Ownership Always Motivate Managers? The Property Rights Theory of the Firm with Alternating - Offers Bargaining," Discussion Papers 9701, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  12. Megginson, William L & Nash, Robert C & van Randenborgh, Matthias, 1994. " The Financial and Operating Performance of Newly Privatized Firms: An International Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 403-52, June.
  13. Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State versus Private Ownership," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 133-150, Fall.
  14. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Privatization and Incentives," Working papers 572, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. Shapiro, C. & Willing, D.R., 1990. "Economic Rationales For The Scope Of Privatization," Papers 41, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  16. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 6726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Chiu, Y Stephen, 1998. "Noncooperative Bargaining, Hostages, and Optimal Asset Ownership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 882-901, September.
  18. De Fraja, Giovanni, 1993. "Productive efficiency in public and private firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 15-30, January.
  19. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2002. "Simple contracts, renegotiation under asymmetric information, and the hold-up problem," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 169-188, January.
  20. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "Incomplete contracts and privatization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 569-579, April.
  21. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  22. Edlin, Aaron S & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1996. "Holdups, Standard Breach Remedies, and Optimal Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 478-501, June.
  23. repec:att:wimass:9714 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Schmitz, Patrick W. & Sliwka, Dirk, 2001. "On synergies and vertical integration," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1281-1295, September.
  25. Schmidt, Klaus M. & Schnitzer, Monika, 1997. "Methods of Privatization: Auctions, Bargaining and Give-Aways," CEPR Discussion Papers 1541, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Schmitz, Patrick W., 1999. "Know-how disclosure and incomplete contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 181-185, May.
  27. Donald B. Hausch & Yeon-Koo Che, 1999. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 125-147, March.
  28. 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.
  29. Matsumura, Toshihiro, 1998. "Partial privatization in mixed duopoly," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 473-483, December.
  30. Aghion, P. & Tirole, J., 1993. "On the Management of Innovation," Working papers 93-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  31. Narjess Boubakri & Jean-Claude Cosset, 1998. "The Financial and Operating Performance of Newly Privatized Firms: Evidence from Developing Countries," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 1081-1110, 06.
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