- The Cournot Centre series
Edited by Jean-Philippe Touffut
Chapter 5: New Public Institutional Design
Xavier Greﬀe Reforms of the public sector and public management are among the most important projects that states have set in motion in the course of the last two decades. Marketing, the introduction of pricing, outsourcing, and management by objectives have become anchors of these reforms. Even if these phenomena are less spectacular or publicized than the big choices in political economy (monetary union, social protection policies, labour market reform), no country escapes them, whether its economy is developed, developing or in transition (OECD, 2000b). The reasons for this ineluctability are varied, even if the most frequently advanced is that of budgetary constraints, justiﬁed by the pressure of globalization, as well as the questioning of the relevance of deﬁcits and public sector borrowing. There is, however, another equally important, competing reason, which renders the debates somewhat opaque: critical discussions over the quality of the services provided. Finally, certain international or intergovernmental organizations have defended the theme ‘less government, more governance’ in order to avoid damage by public interventions to the liberalization of markets and its expected eﬀects (Reinecke, 1994; Wildavsky, 2001). In reality, the agenda is not so new, and the problems of budget management and public administration have never been absent in the history of the state. Still more surprising is the fact that the themes enunciated today are often themes already present in the experiences of more than 40 years ago. This leads to the question of why economic analysis has apparently contributed little...
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