Journal Article

Incentives, Choice, and Accountability in the Provision of Public Services

Timothy Besley and Maitreesh Ghatak

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 19, issue 2, pages 235-249
Published in print June 2003 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online June 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/19.2.235
Incentives, Choice, and Accountability in the Provision of Public Services

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  • Economic Development and Growth
  • Public Economics
  • Political Economy
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This paper discusses a theoretical framework to study the issues of competition and incentives without relying on the standard profit‐oriented ‘market’ model in the context of the debates about public‐service reform in the UK. It uses the idea that the production of public services coheres around a mission, and discusses how decentralized service provision can raise productivity by matching motivated workers to their preferred missions. Our focus on competition and incentives cuts across traditional debates about public versus private ownership and allows for the possibility of involving private non‐profit organizations. We also address concerns about the consequences of allowing more flexibility in mission design and competition on inequality.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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