Public Organization Review

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 301–317 | Cite as

Market-Type Mechanisms and Public Service Equity: A Review of Experiences in European Public Services

  • Sorin DanEmail author
  • Rhys Andrews


In seeking to benefit from the competitive pressures exerted through marketization, governments have hoped to gain improvements in public service efficiency. Yet, concerns remain about the effects of marketization on how equitably public services are provided. We consider evidence about the relationship between the introduction of market-type mechanisms in the European public sector and the efficiency and equity of service provision. Our analysis reveals that although market-type mechanisms sometimes result in worse service equity, there is only weak evidence of a trade-off between efficiency and equity.


Public management reform Market-type mechanisms Service equity Europe 



We would like to thank the members of the PANDA network for helpful comments on an early draft as well as the participants in the Permanent Study Group II: Performance in the Public Sector at the European Group for Public Administration Annual Conference in Speyer, Germany, 10–12 September 2014.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 266887 (Project COCOPS).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Public Governance Institute, Faculty of Social SciencesKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Cardiff Business SchoolCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  3. 3.OECD, GOV/GRPParisFrance

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