Advancing Public Goods

Advancing Public Goods

The Cournot Centre series

Edited by Jean-Philippe Touffut

The studies cover topics in the conceptualization, classification and stratification of public goods. Also examined are public institutional design, global economic institutions and partnership typologies. Individual papers address the financing, regulatory, organizational and legal aspects relating to services of general interest in Europe. The dynamics of global public good production, including monopolies, patents, scientific uncertainty and market failures, are discussed. Empirical research on the state, profit and non-profit sectors is presented. Providing numerous examples of specific public goods, the contributions also highlight the impact of macroeconomic policies on provision. The book presents a broad diversity of new approaches to global public goods within the framework of mixed economies, beyond the standard economic analysis of public services.

Chapter 2: For-Profit, State and Non-Profit: How to Cut the Pie Among the Three Sectors

Avner Ben-Ner

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics

Extract

2. For-profit, state, and non-profit: how to cut the pie among the three sectors1 Avner Ben-Ner INTRODUCTION What is the best way to deliver various goods and services in the advanced complex economy? What is the appropriate division of labour among the state, the private for-profit, and the non-profit sectors? This chapter explores these questions relative to the well-being of consumers, and offers a set of broad answers grounded in the analysis of the relations between different types of organization and their consumers, and the internal organization of these types of organization. Around the turn of the twenty-first century, economic activity was divided among the for-profit, state and non-profit sectors in a few large advanced economies in the following ways: for-profit firms employed the vast majority of workers in the economy, from almost two-thirds in France to about three-quarters in Germany, the UK and the USA; government organizations (enterprises and agencies) at various levels employed as little as 15 per cent of workers in the USA to as much as almost one-third in France; and non-profit organizations employed as little as 5 per cent of workers in France and Germany to as many as 9 per cent in the USA. The shares of the three sectors changed during the previous two decades, with the state shrinking and the other two sectors growing.2 The experience of developed market economies such as France, Germany, the UK and the USA illustrates that...

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