Updated Cost Savings Research Findings
Arranged by Service Category

36. Schools

SOURCE

COMPARISON

FINDINGS

Peterson 1981

In-house vs. private contractor-operated public schools.

Private contracting prompted small gains in math and reading and losses in other subjects. No cost savings.

37. Security Services general maintenance of public buildings) also see Cleaning Services (Service Category 7).

SOURCE

COMPARISON

FINDINGS

Hanke 1985a

In-house vs. private security guards.

Private security services save 50% or more.

38. Sewage/Wastewater Treatment

SOURCE

COMPARISON

FINDINGS

Hanke 1985a

In-house vs. contractor-built and operated treatment facilities.

Contractor costs averaged 20% to 50% less due to shorter construction lags and lower construction costs.  Competition also reduces operating costs 20% to 50%.

Savas 1987; Moore 1988

In-house vs. outside contracts.

Contracted wastewater service is 20% to 50% less costly because federally financed projects involve higher construction (Davis-Bacon Act) and design costs.

39. Ship Repair and Maintenance

SOURCE

COMPARISON

FINDINGS

Bennett and Johnson 1980

In-house vs. commercial tankers and oilers.

U.S. GAO reports that the private ship repair costs averaged 80% less than the U.S. Navy's costs.

40. Slaughterhouses

SOURCE

COMPARISON

FINDINGS

Pausch 1976

In-house vs. private firms in 5 major W. German cities.

Public firms were significantly more costly because of overcapacity and overstaffing.

41. Street Cleaning (refuse collection) also see Refuse Collection (Service Category 35).

SOURCE

COMPARISON

FINDINGS

Stevens 1984

In-house vs. competitively contracted.

Contract cities have 43% lower costs after accounting for quality and other factors.

42. Towing

SOURCE

COMPARISON

FINDINGS

Kaiser 1976

In-house vs. contractors in New York.

Contract towing bids provided cost savings of more than 40%.

TRANSIT See Bus Service (Service Category 6).

UTILITIES See Bus Service (Service Category 6), Electric Utilities (Service Category 10), and Water Utilities (Service Category 43).

43. Water Utilities
(utilities) also see Bus Services and Electric Utilities (Service Categories 6 and 10).

SOURCE

COMPARISON

FINDINGS

Crain and Zardkoohi 1978

In-house vs. private suppliers; comparisons of 112 firms and detailed case study of 2 firms that switched type of ownership.

Public firms were 40% less productive.  Private firms had 25% lower costs.  Public firms going private had 25% increase in output per employee. Private firms going public had an output per employee decrease of 40%.

Feigenbaum and Teeples 1982

In-house vs. private water companies.

No cost differences were found after controlling for other cost factors.

Mann and Mikesell 1976

In-house vs. private suppliers.

Found public modes were 20% more expensive after adjusting for input prices.

Morgan 1977

In-house vs. private suppliers covering 143 firms in six states.

Costs 15% higher for public firms.

44. Weather Forecasting

SOURCE

COMPARISON

FINDINGS

Bennett and DiLorenzo 1983

In-house vs. private.  Based on U.S. GAO studies.

Private weather forecasting contractors provided equivalent weather forecasting with 35% lower cost.