Government Versus Private Ownership of Public Goods

39 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2001

See all articles by Timothy J. Besley

Timothy J. Besley

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Maitreesh Ghatak

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 2001

Abstract

There has been a dramatic change in the division of responsibility between the state and the private sector for the delivery of public goods and services in recent years with an increasing trend towards contracting out to the private sector and 'public-private partnerships'. This Paper analyses how ownership matters in public good provision. We show that if contracts are incomplete then the ownership of a public good should lie with a party that values the benefits generated by it relatively more. This is true regardless of whether this party is also the key investor or provides other aspects of the technology.

Keywords: Public goods, public ownership, public-private partnerships

JEL Classification: D73, H40, O17

Suggested Citation

Besley, Timothy J. and Ghatak, Maitreesh, Government Versus Private Ownership of Public Goods (March 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=266455

Timothy J. Besley (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
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+44 20 7955 6702 (Phone)
+44 20 7955 6951 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Maitreesh Ghatak

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
44 20 7852 3568 (Phone)
44 20 7955 6951 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/adds/ghatak/cv-lse-sept02.pdf

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