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Good Enough for Government WorkThe Public Reputation Crisis in America (And What We Can Do to Fix It)$
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Amy E. Lerman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226630175

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226630342.001.0001

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The Political Costs of Privatization

The Political Costs of Privatization

Chapter:
(p.197) Eleven The Political Costs of Privatization
Source:
Good Enough for Government Work
Author(s):

Amy E. Lerman

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226630342.003.0011

As municipalities continue seeking to improve service delivery, cut costs, and increase efficiency, mixed public-private provision will likely continue to grow. Research on privatization often describes the key benefits of privatization and PPPs in purely financial terms; economic studies describe market-based service delivery as a way to increase competition and thereby decrease the cost of services. In this spirit, politicians at all levels of government increasingly enter into privatization agreements, deregulate oversight of contracts, and make public-private partnerships a priority—all in the name of the “public good.” Citizens should be concerned, however, by the fact that “public good” is increasingly being defined in the narrowest of economic terms.

Keywords:   Privatization, public-private partnership, efficiency, public good, citizen-as-consumer

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