Volltext: Very small countries: economic success against all odds

4.1.2 Competition and participation rights The degree of competition which is existent in the provision of public goods is a very important characteristic of the institutional frame. Many public goods are provided in an environment where competition is more or less nonexistent. Nevertheless, especially in recent years the exposure of the public sector to competition has been considerably wi dened, parti- cularly due to some influential concepts of public sector reform like the New Public Management approach. De Spindler (1998) dis tinguishes between competition among public agencies and/or priv ate institutions and competition within public agencies. We will refer to the latter cate - gory as participation 
rights. Participation rights The existing range of participation rights in connection with the provi- sion of public goods is considerable. The most common form of influ- ence on the provision of public goods is indirect democracy, the election of candidates or parties responsible for the provision and/or production of public goods for discrete periods of time. Note that elected repre sen - ta tives are not only obliged to provide or produce public goods; they also decide on whether goods are provided publicly or privately and on the institutional frame of the provision process. Hence, politicians of the executive and legislative branches define provision arrangements and shape the precise amount of publicly provided goods on all federal levels. Additionally, in terms of participation, there are a lot of other insti- tutional possibilities associated with the provision of public goods. Some consumers of public goods may not be allowed to participate in elections (citizens of foreign countries, prisoners, children). Some public goods may be provided by institutions, where representatives are appointed and not elected (EU, international organizations, district administration) and some public goods may originate from other (adjacent) countries. In contrast, there are countries like Switzerland and the United States where direct democratic rights are widespread, and citizens who are entitled to vote can directly shape the public good provision process in many areas. Participation in direct democratic countries approaches 75 
Organizational forms of public good provision: a positive approach


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