private sector

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A general term for those aspects of the economy that function by means of the purchase and sale of goods and services to generate the income required for subsistence (or better than mere subsistence), as contrasted with the public sector, which requires financial support from collective, i.e., government, resources. It is a central tenet of capitalist philosophy and ideology that the private, implicitly profit-making, sector is more efficient than the public sector, but this is manifestly not universally true, notably in the financial and administrative structure of health services, and has not been adequately tested by controlled experiment in educational services, where publicly funded systems are generally more equitable than the private sector.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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