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Government versus private ownership of public goods

Besley, Timothy and Ghatak, Maitreesh ORCID: 0000-0002-0126-0897 (2001) Government versus private ownership of public goods. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 116 (4). 1343 - 1372. ISSN 0033-5533

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Identification Number: 10.1162/003355301753265598


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 toward contracting out to the private sector and “public-private partnerships.” This paper analyzes 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 other aspects of the technology.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2007
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 23:52

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