When is a Service an Essential Public Service?
Posted: 18 Jun 2009
Date Written: June 17, 2009
Citizens consider certain public (and private) services as essential services and therefore to be shielded from the full extent of market forces. Little is known about why some services are considered essential public services while other sometimes very similar services are not. In this article, we analyse public opinion using Eurobarometer data to test models exploring what factors determine whether citizens in 15 EU countries consider certain services as essential services and therefore to be provided to all. Despite the variety in public opinion, political orientations and geographic factors do little to explain why citizens have different opinions about the provision of public services. The article ends by outlining a research agenda for the further analysis of this underexplored research topic.
Keywords: Services of General Interest, public service values, liberalisation, essential public services, political attitudes
JEL Classification: H40, H41, L32, L33, D73
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation