Social Services and the Market: Paying Customers, Vouchers and Quality Control, 83 Colum. L. Rev. 1405 (1983)
Organizations that provide subsidized services to needy people are frequently
discouraged from competing with one another. Many policymakers
view the duplication of the competitive market place as wasteful, and stress
coordination, not competition. They claim that quality can be controlled by
direct regulation and by the participation of needy clients in suppliers' decisions.
Many of these attempts to improve quality have, however, been failures. Direct regulation has proven expensive and has often been ineffective. Attempts to raise the quality of services through client participation on boards of directors and advisory groups have often floundered on the indifference and inaction of client representatives.
In response to these difficulties some commentators have looked to economic
analysis for help in obtaining high-quality social services. Isolating
providers from the market, these commentators claim, will not eliminate
unnecessary duplication, but will instead lead to low quality, wasteful operations. Various plans have therefore been offered for exposing social service
providers to market pressures.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Rose-Ackerman, Susan, "Social Services and the Market: Paying Customers, Vouchers and Quality Control" (1983). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 586.