Unsolicited Bids for Government Functions

  • Nolan Bederman
  • Michael Trebilock


This article develops the case for designing a process to encourage and evaluate unsolicited bids for privatization or contracting out of government functions. The authors argue that conventional government procurement practices are unlikely to uncover or reveal all potentially desirable opportunities for privatization or contracting out, given informational constraints, search costs, and bureaucratic and political disincentives operating on public sector agents. Thus, there is a strong case for reversing the burden of initiative with respect to alternative modes of delivery of public goods or services. The article develops a private sector analogy for unsolicited bids for government functions