Self-Provision of Public Services: Its Evolution and Impact


Shlomo Mizrahi is associate professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy in the Faculty of Management, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel. His research interests include public policy, public sector and New Public Management, political behavior, the welfare state, regulation and privatization, public choice and game theory, collective action and interest groups, institutional change, bargaining, and conflict resolution.


This article establishes a framework for explaining the ways in which citizens, as clients of public services, attempt to deal with situations of combined market and government failures. Under certain conditions, citizens are driven to create self-production mechanisms that often are extralegal or illegal. When faced with such social initiatives, politicians often support them, either passively or actively, by institutionalizing the new mechanisms. The article explains the evolution of the self-provision model and its implications. The analysis includes a theoretical framework and a practical intervention scheme.