Economic Effects of Contracting Out in Scandinavia, and the Importance of Country Context

Andrej Christian Lindholst, Ole Helby Petersen, Kurt Houlberg

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


In this chapter, we examine whether contracting out of municipal park and road services in Scandinavia results in different levels of cost changes and whether factors explaining cost changes differ across national contexts. In a statistical analysis based on comparable survey data, we find that the average cost change from contracting out and the importance of key explanatory factors differ significantly across Scandinavia. The average costs of providing the services increased in Norway, remained unchanged in Sweden, and decreased in Denmark. Findings for Denmark provide the most consistent support for theoretical explanations for contracting outcomes, while findings for Norway provide only very limited support to the theories. The chapter contributes to the literature by suggesting that the stage of development and supportiveness of the institutional environment is critical for understanding differences in contracting outcomes and the factors explaining cost changes across different national contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarketization in Local Government : Diffusion and Evolution in Scandinavia and England
EditorsAndrej Christian Lindholst, Morten Balle Hansen
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication dateFeb 2020
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-32477-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-32478-0
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • marketization
  • privatization
  • contracting out
  • effects
  • scandinavia
  • parks
  • roads
  • maintenance
  • comparative


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