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Austerity, political control and supplier selection in English local government: implications for autonomy in multi-level systems

Eckersley, Peter, Flynn, Anthony, Ferry, Laurence and Lakoma, Katarzyna 2021. Austerity, political control and supplier selection in English local government: implications for autonomy in multi-level systems. Public Management Review 10.1080/14719037.2021.1930122

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Abstract

Analysis of 60,000 contracts awarded by English councils between 2015–19 reveals that austerity constraints are a key predictor of councils outsourcing services to for-profit suppliers, regardless of their political control. Conservative Party-controlled councils are also more likely to contract with for-profit suppliers, although we found no link between Labour-controlled councils and not-for-profit suppliers, nor evidence that political or budgetary factors influence whether councils contract with providers based in their own region. We argue that centrally imposed funding cuts, and a belief that for-profit suppliers represent a cheaper option, could be overriding Labour Party councils’ ideological preference for not-for-profit providers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1471-9037
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 June 2021
Date of Acceptance: 7 May 2021
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2021 15:49
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/141691

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