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The Structure of Policy Change$
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Derek A. Epp

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226529691

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226529868.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Revisiting the Efficiency of the Private Sector

Revisiting the Efficiency of the Private Sector

Chapter:
(p.145) Eight Revisiting the Efficiency of the Private Sector
Source:
The Structure of Policy Change
Author(s):

Derek A. Epp

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226529868.003.0008

This chapter evaluates a long-standing political assumption that the private sector operates more efficiently than the public sector. The chapter argues that the merits of this assumption are highly dubious. At least in regard to informational efficiency, there are few reasons to suspect that the private sector will have a clear advantage over government. The chapter then looks at industries that see both public and private sector involvement, including mail delivery and higher education. Distributional analysis reveals that private sector companies operating in these industries produce outcomes that are characterized by higher levels of instability than those produced by their public counterparts. This suggests that, if anything, the public sector can sometimes process information more efficiently than private firms.

Keywords:   private sector, public sector, distributional analysis, informational efficiency

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