Paul Grout
U. of Bristol



(Friday, 23rd May 2014)

Title : Alternative Organisation of Public Service Provision

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By the 1970s, the public sector dominated the delivery of public services to such an extent in many western developing and communist countries (the US was a notable exception) that the terminology public services and public sector had begun to appear almost synonymous. Globally, it appears now that this was the highpoint of the public sector’s colonisation of public services and the intervening period has witnessed a dramatic swing away from this position. The private and not for profit sectors are now playing an ever growing and diversified role in the delivery of public services around the world. Indeed, the scale of private involvement in its various forms is now vast. For example, it is estimated that by 2003 $3.24 trillion of assets had been transferred to the private from the public sector in the preceding 20 years, a significant proportion of which consists of public services. This was estimated to be about 18% of the global stock market value and 39% of the non-U.S. total value.

This was part of a programme to harness the private and not for profit sectors to deliver better public services and to make public sector delivery more ‘competitive’. The aim of my workshop is to discuss current research on these alternative methods of delivery.

Bibliographical references :

Must read reference : Private Delivery of Public Services, Paul A. Grout, (2006), CMPO Public Services Evidence Review No3. (

‘The Impact of Competition on Management Quality: Evidence from Public Hospitals’ Nicholas Bloom, Carol Propper, Stephan Seiler, John Van Reenen, 2010, NBER Working Paper No. 16032

‘Death by Market Power: Reform, Competition, and Patient Outcomes in the National Health Service.’  Martin Gaynor, Rodrigo Moreno-Serra, and Carol Propper (2013), American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol 5(4): 134-66.

‘How important is pro-social behaviour in the delivery of public services?’ (2011),   Paul Gregg, Paul A. Grout, Anita Ratcliffe, Sarah Smith and Frank Windmeijer, Journal of Public Economics, vol 95, 758 – 766.

The Impact of Regulation on Market Risk, 2006, Paul A. Grout, Anna Zalewska, Journal of Financial Economics, vol 80(1), 149 – 184.