We would like to thank Genesis Buchanan, Lin Crase, Terry Hillman, Dustin Garrick, Greg Thompson and Alistair Watson for their valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
A Role for the Private Sector in the Provision of River and Riparian Goods?*
Article first published online: 23 MAY 2011
© 2011 The Economic Society of Australia
Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy
Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 157–166, June 2011
How to Cite
Hone, S., Foster, A. and O’Keefe, S. (2011), A Role for the Private Sector in the Provision of River and Riparian Goods?. Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy, 30: 157–166. doi: 10.1111/j.1759-3441.2011.00108.x
- Issue published online: 23 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 23 MAY 2011
- public goods;
- property rights;
- environmental water management
In public policy debates, it is typically assumed that governments should play a significant role in providing river and riparian goods, whereas the role of the private sector is limited. We draw on case studies from Australia and the United States, showing that public provision is often substantially inefficient. Although private provision has the potential to remedy some of these inefficiencies, it also introduces new problems. We conclude that government should reduce impediments to private provision, gradually scale back public provision and investigate subsidies as an alternative way of addressing the “free rider” problem.