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February 28, 2008

Paper on Privatization of Social Welfare, focused on Housing

A paper worth checking out that is not exactly new, but still worth checking out is the following one from Nestor Davidson, "Relational Contracts in the Privatization of Social Welfare: The Case of Housing," 24 Yale L. & Pol'y Rev. 263 (2006).  Yale L and Pol'y Rev. does not yet have their archives up on their website, so the link is to the SSRN version.  Here is the abstract:

Privatization has become a permanent and increasingly significant part of contemporary public policy, especially in the social welfare arena. Commentators are increasingly debating how to maximize privatization's potential to enhance the efficiency of service delivery while grappling with the threat that privatization holds for accountability. A recurring prescription in this debate calls for additional government control of private providers, through agreements that contain ever-more-careful terms, monitored with ever-greater care. This view reflects a model of discrete contracting that places great faith in the capacity of government entities to state requirements in complete terms and to enforce these terms through the threat of termination. This conceptual framework, however, misses the fundamentally relational nature of many of the agreements that define privatization. These agreements reflect the inherent difficulty of capturing requirements over the course of a long-term, closely entwined public-private partnership. Examining a collection of subsidized housing programs, this Article identifies the relational aspects of core agreements between the government and private providers. It then argues that embracing and enhancing the relational features of public-private partnerships holds promise to capture privatization's benefits while providing a different approach to accountability.

I met Nestor recently and he knows his property law so if you are interested in the topic as it relates to housing, do check it out. -E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 28, 2008 in Books/Articles/Reports of Interest | Permalink

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