OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

English, French

Should We Extend the Role of Private Social Expenditure?

  1. Some people make great claims about the advantages to be gained from greater reliance on the private sector for the provision of social protection. Many of the claims for great macroeconomic advantages do not stand up to scrutiny. However, there is some reason to hope that private provision might promote microeconomic efficiency and services which are more responsive to consumer preferences than those provided by a single monopoly public sector provider. Drawing on examples from recent OECD country experiences with private health insurance, care for children and the elderly, and private pension provision, three main conclusions can be drawn. First, opening provision to a diversity of providers has often promoted more choice and innovation. Second, however, efficiency gains have often been limited. This is due to a number of inter-related reasons: (a) Individualisation of packages of services is expensive. (b) In order to ensure adequate coverage of the ...


JEL: H51: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Government Expenditures and Health; H53: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs; H42: Public Economics / Publicly Provided Goods / Publicly Provided Private Goods; L33: Industrial Organization / Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise / Comparison of Public and Private Enterprises and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out; H11: Public Economics / Structure and Scope of Government / Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
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