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Should Public Sectors Be Complements of Private Sectors?

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We discuss competition between high-quality private service providers that maximize their own profits and a low-quality public service provider that maximizes social surplus. Two heterogeneous consumer groups exist: those who demand only high-quality services and those who care little whether services are high- or low-quality. The setting reflects the fact that some consumers feel dissatisfaction with public service providers. We show that, under certain conditions, social welfare is smaller when there is a public service provider than when there is not. The result holds even though the efficiency of the public service is equal to that of the private services.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2012

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  • Founded as Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft in 1844.

    As one of the oldest journals in the field of political economy, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) deals traditionally with the problems of economics, social policy, and their legal framework. JITE is listed in the Journal of Economic Literature, the Social Science Citation Index, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and COREJ.

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    From 2013 on all accepted articles are published in an Online First version (in their final layout) to make them searchable and citable by their DOI immediately after peer review and acceptance. Once the article is published in an issue of the journal, the Online First version will be removed.

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