Working paper 03/076 - Abstract

Financing and Managing Public Services: An Assessment (PDF, file 90.3 KB) (PDF, 90kB)

Paul A Grout

Public services can be, and are, delivered according to a variety of different arrangements. The public sector can finance and provide a service itself, or contract with the private sector to participate in provision, or its role may be limited to regulating a private provider. In this paper we examine the features determining the effectiveness of public-service delivery, including incentives for employees and teams within organizations providing public services, the structure of the organization and the competitive framework that it faces, and the role of the private sector. We assess the reform programme in the UK, which has involved substantial reorganization of public services and increasing involvement of the private sector. Reforms focus on the improvement of incentives; but while incentives are critical, the special characteristics of public services (and the people who provide them) must be recognized in the implementation of new structures and incentive schemes.

Published in Oxford Review of Economic Policy 19 (2) 215-234 (2003)

Note: some of the documents on this page are in PDF format. In order to view a PDF you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader