You Don't Always Get What You Pay for: The Economics of Privatization / Edition 1 by Elliott D. Sclar | 9780801487620 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
You Don't Always Get What You Pay for: The Economics of Privatization / Edition 1

You Don't Always Get What You Pay for: The Economics of Privatization / Edition 1

by Elliott D. Sclar
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801487625

ISBN-13: 9780801487620

Pub. Date: 12/01/2001

Publisher: Cornell University Press

Today, nearly all public services—schools, hospitals, prisons, fire departments, sanitation—are considered fair game for privatization. Proponents of privatization argue that private firms will respond to competitive market pressures and provide better service at lower cost. While this assertion has caused much controversy, the debate between both sides has

Overview

Today, nearly all public services—schools, hospitals, prisons, fire departments, sanitation—are considered fair game for privatization. Proponents of privatization argue that private firms will respond to competitive market pressures and provide better service at lower cost. While this assertion has caused much controversy, the debate between both sides has consisted mainly of impassioned defenses of entrenched positions. In You Don't Always Get What You Pay For, Elliott D. Sclar offers a balanced look at the pitfalls and promises of public sector privatization in the United States. By describing the underlying economic dynamics of how public agencies and private organizations actually work together, he provides a rigorous analysis of the assumptions behind the case for privatization.The competitive-market model may seem appealing, but Sclar warns that it does not address the complex reality of contracting for government services. Using specific examples, such as mail service and urban transportation, he shows that ironically privatization does not shrink government—the broader goal of many of its own champions. He also demonstrates that there is more to consider in providing public services than trying to achieve efficiency; there are issues of equity and access that cannot be ignored.Sclar believes that public officials and voters will soon realize the limitations of "contracting out" just as private corporations have come to understand the drawbacks of outsourcing. After examining the effectiveness of alternatives to privatization, he offers suggestions for improving public sector performance—advice he hopes will be heeded before it is too late.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801487620
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
12/01/2001
Series:
A Century Foundation Book Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,180,214
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 8.88(h) x 0.54(d)

Table of Contents

Forewordvii
Acknowledgmentsxi
Chapter 1The Urge to Privatize: From the Bureaucratic State to the Contract State1
Chapter 2What Is the Public Buying? Identifying the Contracted Public Good20
Chapter 3Public vs. Private Production: Is One Better and How Would You Know?47
Chapter 4What's Competition Got to Do with It? Market Structures and Public Contracting69
Chapter 5All in the System: Organizational Theories and Public Contracting94
Chapter 6Restructuring Work: The Relational Contract130
Chapter 7The Privatization of Public Service: Economic Limits of the Contract State151
Bibliography169
Index177

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