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Optimal Ownership of Public Goods in the Presence of Transaction Costs

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  • Müller, Daniel
  • Schmitz, Patrick W.

Abstract

A non-governmental organization (NGO) can make a non-contractible investment to provide a public good. Only ownership can be specified ex ante, so ex post efficiency requires reaching an agreement with the government. Besley and Ghatak (2001) argue that the party with the larger valuation should be the owner. We show that when transaction costs have to be incurred before the bargaining stage can be reached, ownership by the government can be optimal even when the NGO has a larger valuation. Our finding also contrasts with the standard private-good setup where the investing party (i.e., the NGO) should always be the owner.

Suggested Citation

  • Müller, Daniel & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2017. "Optimal Ownership of Public Goods in the Presence of Transaction Costs," MPRA Paper 90784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:90784
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli & Giovanni Immordino, 2019. "Costly Pretrial Agreements," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 159-188.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2021. "Optimal ownership of public goods under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    2. Kusterer, David J. & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2018. "Government versus Private Ownership of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 13204, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Kusterer, David J. & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2020. "Public goods, property rights, and investment incentives: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 514-532.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transaction costs Public goods Property rights Bargaining Incomplete contracts;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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