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Easier said than done: Understanding the implementation of re-municipalization decisions and associated delays

Daniel Albalate (), Germà Bel () and Eoin Reeves ()
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Daniel Albalate: Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economics (Public Policy Unit), Universitat de Barcelona, & GiM-IREA. Av. Diagonal 690, 08034 Barcelona, Spain

No 201917, IREA Working Papers from University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics

Abstract: In recent years there has been growing evidence of a reversal of earlier privatizations at the municipal level. We use data on over 800 cases of re-municipalization worldwide to examine propositions drawn from theory on the choice between public versus private sector delivery and policy implementation. We find that sectors with strong network characteristics are associated with lower probabilities of implementation. Also, it takes longer to implement re-municipalization policies in network sectors. On the other hand, re-municipalization is more likely to be implemented and implemented faster in the case of personal services including health and education. The results do not find that greater clarity about re-municipalization policy is associated with the level of implementation. There is some support for the hypothesis that the quality of government is positively associated with the probability of implementing policy but not the time taken to complete the task. However, other institutional factors such as legal traditions are found to be significant determinants of policy implementation and its finalization. The great recession was found to have increased the probability of implementing reforms and there is some evidence of faster implementation in the post-recession period. However, we fail to find evidence that policy implementation is more efficient over time and policy learning in this regard is not evident.

Keywords: Implementation Policy; Policy Analysis; Municipalization; Privatization JEL classification:H11; L32; L33; L38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-10, Revised 2019-10
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Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:201917