Working paper 05/124 - Abstract

Contracting Out Public Service Provision to Not-For-Profit Firms (PDF, file 249 KB) (PDF, 248kB)

John Bennett and Elisabetta Iossa

In an incomplete contract setting, we analyze the contracting out of public service provision, comparing the performance of for-profit and not-for-profit private firms. Two institutional arrangements are considered, control rights lying either with the firm as under the UK’s Private Finance Initiative (PFI) or the government (as under traditional procurement). We derive the conditions under which provision by not-for-profit firms leads to greater investment and social benefit than provision by for profit firms. The role played by the non-distribution constraint in not-for profit firms and the nature of the investment are emphasized.

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