Aidan Vining

Aidan Vining
Simon Fraser University · Beedie School of Business

About

111
Publications
70,578
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7,387
Citations
Citations since 2017
2 Research Items
2038 Citations
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Publications

Publications (111)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This paper addresses the social value of commercial enterprises that are jointly owned by a government and private sector investors and where the shares are listed on a stock exchange: thus, “listed public–private enterprises” (LPPEs). The theoretical part of the paper addresses how differences in ownership patterns influence the behavior a...
Book
Cost-Benefit Analysis provides accessible, comprehensive, authoritative, and practical treatments of the protocols for assessing the relative efficiency of public policies. It provides thorough treatments of the essential concepts from microeconomics; time discounting; dealing with contingent uncertainty using expected surpluses and option prices;...
Article
In Canada, indigenous communities have strengthened de jure and de facto rights over the last generation, thereby enabling them to realize substantial resource rents and other economic development income. Canadian First Nations (the preferred name for most indigenous communities) have in recent years established over 200 economic development corpor...
Article
From a public policy perspective, the social value of privatization depends on the aggregate efficiency benefits over the long term. However, most privatization studies that examine the efficiency impacts of privatization employ relatively short time frames: usually 3-years before and 3-years after the privatization. In contrast, this study examine...
Article
In 2000, the UN launched the Millennium Development Goals. This article addresses national-level factors associated with achieving the fourth goal, lower under-five mortality, among 69 low-income countries from early in the new millennium to the early years of the present decade. The factors fall in three categories: measures of health sector input...
Article
Policy designers seeking to harness profit-driven efficiency for public purposes are increasingly creating organizations with fractionalized property rights that distribute “ownership” among public and private actors. The resulting hybrids are quite diverse, including mixed enterprises, public-private partnerships, social entrepreneurship organizat...
Article
The Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015 cannot be achieved. We demonstrate that per-capita GDP and adult literacy, especially the latter, are significant in explaining national primary completion rates. National governance (measured by comparative perceptions of political stability, government accountability and effec...
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Although governments worldwide are increasingly choosing to deliver services through organisations with greater autonomy than traditional bureaus, the implicit assumption that such agencification contributes to long-run efficiency remains largely untested. Agencification gives agency managers more autonomy and access to incentive mechanisms that le...
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This paper addresses some of the gaps in both classification and theory pertaining to local government MEs and presents tentative predictions concerning the performance of local MEs. As a preliminary, we identify the different forms of entities with ME characteristics and place them within a comprehensive taxonomy. Most local MEs provide local publ...
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The decades-old literature on the correct method for choosing and esti-mating a social discount rate (SDR) has resulted in two, largely opposing viewpoints. This note seeks to clarify the key sources of disagreement between these two camps. One view advocates that the choice should be based chiefly on the social opportu-nity cost of the return to f...
Data
This article describes and analyzes the privatization of Canadian National Railway (CN), a large railroad privatization. First, it reviews the theory and evidence concerning railroad privatizations. Second, it presents a brief history of CN and the regulatory environment prior to and after CN's privatization. Third, it uses data from 1990 to 2011 t...
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Recently, a number of authors, including Burgess and Zerbe, have recommended the use of a real social discount rate (SDR) in the range of 6–8% in benefit-cost analysis (BCA) of public projects. They derive this rate based on the social opportunity cost of capital (SOC) method. In contrast, this article argues that the correct method is to discount...
Article
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This article applies political economy theory to public‐private partnerships (PPPs). First, we propose that social welfare is the appropriate normative evaluation criterion to evaluate the social value of PPPs. Second, we specify the goals of PPP participants, including private‐sector partners and governments. Third, we review the observed outcomes...
Article
Most privatizations in Canada occurred in the 10-year period from the mid-1980s to the mid- 1990s, and while many of the remaining candidates are both politically and economically problematic, the Harper government has signaled its renewed interest in more privatizations. This paper, written by two of Canada’s leading experts on the subject, compre...
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Transplantation is generally the treatment of choice for those suffering from kidney failure. Not only does transplantation offer improved quality of life and increased longevity relative to dialysis, it also reduces end-stage renal disease program expenditures, providing savings to Medicare. Unfortunately, the waiting list for kidney transplants i...
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Strategy matters in the public sector as well as in the private sector. Michael Porter's “five competitive forces” (5 Forces) framework (Porter 1979151. Porter , M. E. 1979 . “How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy.” Harvard Business Review 57 ( 2 ): 137 – 145 . [Web of Science ®]View all references; 1980152. Porter , M. E. 1980 . Competitive Stra...
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Les lignes directrices provisoires du Secrétariat du Conseil du Trésor de 2007 ont recommandé que le taux d’actualisation public (TAP) soit de 8 %. Dans cet article, nous avançons que ce chiffre est basé sur une méthodologie inappropriée et trop élevé. En utilisant un taux d’actualisation de la consommation, et à l’aide d’un modèle de croissance, n...
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This article develops a model of open source disruption in enterprise software markets. It addresses the question: Is free and open source software (FOSS) likely to disrupt markets for commercial enterprise software? The conventional wisdom is that open source provision works best for low-level system-oriented technologies, while large, complex ent...
Article
In this study, we analyze the evolution of Canada's mining industry from 1929 to 2006, focussing on the determinants of the number of firms in the industry and why this number changed over that period. Most empirical studies of industry evolution have focused on manufacturing industries that share similar structural characteristics. Perhaps because...
Article
Many indigenous populations are experiencing rural-to-urban migration. In making this transition, indigenous peoples are entering industrial societies where most income derives from wages or salaries, and formal educational achievement is crucial in determining economic prospects. This research analyzes the gap in test score results between Aborigi...
Article
Benefit-cost analysis (BCA) provides a framework for systematically assessing the efficiency of public policies. Increasingly, BCA is being applied to social policies, ranging from preschool interventions to prison reentry programs. These applications offer great potential for helping to identify policies that offer the best returns on public inves...
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This study analyses the relationship between clusters and the growth performance of new U.S. technology-based firms. It is argued that firms benefit because clustering provides access to specialized resources that cannot be developed internally. The empirical results indicate that distance from a cluster is negatively related to growth, but cluster...
Article
This paper analyzes the operating and stock price performance of the major Canadian share-issue privatizations, including Air Canada, Canadian National Railway, Petro-Canada, and six provincial privatizations. First, using time-series accounting data, we examine changes in operating and financiaI performance before and after privatization. Second,...
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This article uses cost-benefit analysis to estimate the welfare gains from the privatization of Canadian National Railway (CN) in November 1995, one of the largest rail privatizations in history. It also shows how these gains have been distributed among consumers, producers, and government, and between Canadians and non-Canadians. The article uses...
Article
The valuation of changes in consumption of addictive goods resulting from policy interventions presents a challenge for cost-benefit analysts. Consumer surplus losses from reduced consumption of addictive goods that are measured relative to market demand schedules overestimate the social cost of cessation interventions. This article seeks to show t...
Article
This article uses cost-benefit analysis to estimate the welfare gains from the privatization of Canadian National Railway (CN) in November 1995, one of the largest rail privatizations in history. It also shows how these gains have been distributed among consumers, producers, and government, and between Canadians and non-Canadians. The article uses...
Article
There is a broad consensus on the need for the major expansion of many ports. Traditionally, ports and related facilities have involved significant levels of direct or indirect government ownership or some degree of government financing. Most governments, however, are reluctant to either borrow money to fund the needed additional capital infrastruc...
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This article provides eight rules for government concerning the administration of public—private partnerships (P3s). The basis for these rules draws on transaction cost economics. First, however, the article provides some background on alternative modes for the provision of infrastructure and their associated transactions costs. Second, it outlines...
Article
Most of the current debate on the effective provision of legal services ignores the centrality of information costs. It is argued that conventional controls do not address this issue, especially where clients are infrequent users of legal services and the services required are nonroutine. In this segment of the market for legal services there is an...
Article
This article develops some theory on and examines the implementation and performance of Canadian public-private partnerships (P3s). It focuses primarily on infrastructure projects and addresses three questions: 1) What goals do governments expect to achieve through Pas? 2) How effective are Pas likely to be at delivering value to governments and ci...
Article
This paper makes an assessment of the impact of toxic chemical regulation in Canada. Ranges of costs and benefits, supplemented by survey information, analogous American data, interviews and case studies have been used to demonstrate the general usefulness of a cost-benefit framework for public sector decision-making even where information availabi...
Article
This article develops a model of open source disruption in enterprise software markets. It addresses the question: Is free and open source software (FOSS) likely to disrupt markets for commercial enterprise software? The conventional wisdom is that open source provision works best for low-level system-oriented technologies, while large, complex ent...
Article
Full-text available
The new public management includes a portfolio of prescriptions that involve reconfiguring the boundaries of government agencies. One form of reconfiguration is corporatization. Corporatization creates separate agencies that have a contractlike relationship with a ministry or oversight agencies. Corporatization usually comprises a portfolio of chan...
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In writing this paper, our objective was to use the concept of internal market failure to explain why many knowledge management initiatives fall short of expectations. We re-examined the conventional view of knowledge as a pure public good and developed a typology of knowledge as a heterogeneous public good. This permitted us to identify the differ...
Article
ABSTRACT* * *The empirical evidence on the determinants of sentencing outcomes has been increasingly utilized in debates on the nature of sentencing. Often the characterization of the impact of a variable as “appropriate” or “inappropriate” is controversial, and consequently there is wide disagreement as to the meaning of disparity. This article pr...
Article
Many national governments now mandate some form of ex ante evaluation of policy alternatives. But, evidence suggests that both policy analysts and their political and bureaucratic clients have difficulty doing this form of policy analysis evaluation. To conduct effective ex ante evaluation of alternatives, analysts and decision-makers must first ch...
Article
This article presents findings from a cost-benefit analysis of the Tulsa Individual Development Account (IDA) program, a demonstration program that was initiated in the late 1990s and is being evaluated through random assignment. The program put particular emphasis on using savings subsidies to help participants accumulate housing assets. The key f...
Article
Governments in many industrialized nations have made concerted efforts to reduce their immediate expenditures and to reduce the cost of major infrastructure projects. Public–private partnerships (P3s) are one emerging method that might do so. Despite the increased use of P3s, there is little independent research on the effectiveness of P3s as a pub...
Article
In this paper, we present a framework for building a firm's issue-specific lobbying strategy. We argue that there are five critical elements of a lobbying strategy and that the major choices concerning political lobbying strategy relate to these elements. The five elements, and the primary strategic choices concerning these elements are: (1) the ch...
Article
We estimate the effects of clustering on the growth and survival of information technology (IT) firms in Canada, after controlling for firm-specific factors that might determine growth rates and survival. The results suggest that, in general, agglomeration at the regional and metropolitan levels does not influence growth rates or survival probabili...
Chapter
Being able to do policy analysis is the essential professional capability of the policy analyst. What is the best way to learn how to do policy analysis? Vining and Weimer describe a tool that they find to be effective in teaching—what they call the policy analysis “case,” or the “P-case.” The P-case differs considerably from the commonly used “Har...
Article
A major reason the quality of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) varies widely is inconsistent use of the social discount rate (SDR). This article offers guidance about the choice of the SDR. Namely, we recommend the following procedures: If the project is intragenerational (does not have effects beyond 50 years) and there is no crowding out of private in...
Article
Full-text available
Softwood lumber has been, and continues to be, the most contentious trade issue dividing the United States and Canada. This article examines the economic issues surrounding the dispute and considers possible resolutions to it. Specifically, the article reviews the recently expired Softwood Lumber Agreement, which restricted exports from four Canadi...
Article
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Outsourcing grew rapidly during the 1990s and has now become an accepted dimension of corporate strategy. While outsourcing continues to grow in importance, the nature and focus of outsourcing is evolving. Historically, most outsourcing took place in manufacturing industries, but it is now spreading rapidly within service industries. Whether in man...
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International comparisons of the organization and performance of health care sectors are increasingly informing policy makers about potential policies relating to the cost of, and access to, health care. Perhaps nowhere have such comparisons featured as prominently as in North America. In debates on health care policy reform politicians, academics...
Article
The purposes of the paper are to determine whether governments underprice shares in fixed-price share-issue privatizations (SIPs) and, if so, what their motivations are for doing so. This paper develops three models of SIP underpricing: one based on revenue goals, one based on political goals and an inclusive model which supposes that the level of...
Article
A major reason the quality of cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) varies widely is inconsistent use of the social discount rate (SDR). This paper provides guidance about the choice of the SDR. We first summarize the theoretical and ethical issues concerning the SDR. Second, we discuss seven discounting methods: marginal rate of return on investment, socia...
Article
Full-text available
Governments in many industrialized nations have made concerted efforts to reduce their direct expenditures. Public-private partnerships (P3s) are one emerging method of doing so. Despite their increased use, little independent research has been conducted on the effectiveness of P3s. This article reviews recent P3 experience in the U.S. and Canada....
Article
This article demonstrates the value of service-customer matrices (SCMs) for managers performing strategic analysis of nonprofit organizations (NPOs). Some of the benefits of using SCMs are understanding the portfolio of businesses; clarifying what sponsors and clients value; identifying rivals, key attributes, and revenues on a service-customer seg...
Article
The theory of market and government failure can be used to diagnose inefficiency within firms and to identify strategies to deal with these problems. Internal market failures (IMFs) - internal public good problems, internal negative and positive externalities, internal information asymmetries, internal monopolies, the presence of uncertainty - crea...
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Between 1996 and 2001 the Government of Canada implemented a multi-million dollar program to restructure and revitalize the British Columbia wild salmon fishery in order to avoid an economic and ecological collapse. This paper provides a brief history of BC salmon fishery policy with emphasis on the restructuring of the 1990s, documents the current...
Article
International comparisons of the organisation and performance of health care sectors are increasingly informing policy makers about potential policies relating to health care. Politicians, academics and critics in both the United States and Canada have compared and contrasted the health care systems in the two countries. Public debate tends to emph...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to investigate and explain the recent growth patterns of Canadian high-tech firms. We analyse firm growth utilising Gibrat's Law as an analytic framework. Gibrat's Law postulates that the growth of firms is a random process. We therefore investigate whether the growth of Canadian high-tech firms is constant across firm...
Article
A necessary precursor to strategic choice is the selection of a strategic choice evaluation method — metachoice. Unfortunately, managers are unlikely to find much guidance on how to conduct metachoice analysis in the strategy literature. In light of this problem, a template is presented based on two questions that must be addressed by those engaged...
Article
This article applies cost-benefit analysis to the Canadian Pacific commercial salmon fishery. It demonstrates that government policies to preserve the fishery have resulted in higher let social costs than would have resulted from a "do nothing" policy, notwithstanding the rent dissipation associated with unconstrained resource exploitation. The val...
Article
This paper examines the impact of direct and extra billing on patient demand for medical services as well as physicians' responses to changing patient demand. These issues are examined in the context of a "natural experiment" in British Columbia, Canada where, in 1992, 81 general practitioners and specialists "opted-out" of the provincial Medical S...
Article
Theories of market and government failure provide resources for diagnosing intra-organizational inefficiency in public organizations and for identifying possible solutions. Public goods, externalities, information asymmetries, monopolies, uncertainty, inappropriate reward systems, and interest group behavior create inefficiencies within organizatio...
Article
Outsourcing is an increasingly important initiative being pursued by corporations in North America and Europe in pursuit of improved efficiency. This paper provides a conceptual framework to assist managers in identifying and implementing outsourcing decisions. In particular, the framework suggests a way for managers to identify the pre- and post-c...
Article
As dentistry is becoming increasingly competitive, dentists must focus more on strategic analysis. This paper lays out seven initial steps that are the foundation of strategic analysis. It introduces and describes the use of service-customer matrices and location-proximity maps as tools in competitive positioning. The paper also contains a brief ov...
Article
Contracting-out has become increasingly prominent in the health-care sector. It has been used in activities ranging from 'internal market' arrangements in which providers compete for funding from government payers to purchases of medical and non-medical inputs by service providers. While contracting-out arrangements for non-medical services have be...
Article
Over the past decade there have been numerous proposals to use market system incentives to attenuate the persistent shortage of transplantable human organs. While shortages have grown, opposition to market-based solutions has remained adamant. Much of the opposition has focused on monetary incentives. This article explores an alternative--a mutual...
Article
Institutional features that vary across countries affect the operation of policy instruments. Researchers often leave these features unstated. The absence of a clear description of relevant institutional features not only interferes with effective borrowing of (first‐order) policy instruments across national contexts, but also hinders the cumulatio...
Article
This study examines whether private financing erodes public support for maintaining health care budgets in the public sector. It also examines the hypothesis that private financing reduces the real value of nominal government health care budgets by contributing to higher health care costs. The statistical analysis focuses on a set of OECD countries...
Article
Full-text available
In assessing existing or proposed public policies, analysts often need shadow price estimates for one or two key items - for example, the value of a human life, the cost of various types of injuries, the cost of a robbery or the value of an hour of travel time saved. This paper provides estimates of the values of many, frequently encountered impact...
Article
Many studies find that foreign subsidiaries of multi-national enterprises are more profitable or more productive than firms that operate exclusively in a single domestic market or that produce in and export from a single domestic market. These differences are usually attributed to firm-specific assets. This article explores an additional explanatio...
Article
How can government do a better job at contracting out? Steven Globerman and Aidan Vining argue that contracting out is justified only when one can expect to lower the sum of production costs and the costs of managing the relationship between government and the contractee (transaction costs). While contracting out can usually reduce production costs...
Article
This article demonstrates the value of product-customer matrices (PCMs). PCMs can improve managers' understanding of what a company's products actually are; who the customers are; which product-customer segments the company is currently in; which ones it is not in; the business(es) it is in; the competitors within each product-customer segment; whi...
Article
Major changes are pressuring the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Its cultural centrality has been questioned as a result of these changes. The CBC was set up as a public, rather than a state, broadcaster with some arm's length characteristics. Recently, its mandate has focused more on increasing Canadian content as reflected in its own pol...
Article
The purpose of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is to help public sector decision-making. The “help” varies according to when it is performed. CBA can be performed ex ante (EA), ex post (EP), or in the interim—in medias res (IMR) of a project. We propose a fourth class of CBA—one that compares EA with EP or with IMR CBA. In fact, this type of comparison...
Article
This article characterizes the perceptions of government bureaucrats about cost-benefit analysis (CBA). The observations arise after working with government officials on various projects and leading many executive seminars for government employees over the last decade on the principles and practice of CBA. Government employees tend to adopt one of...
Article
In this article the authors respond to Peter Brown's critique of welfare economics (this issue) on two levels. First, they argue that welfare economics provides a stronger and more complete, if admittedly imperfect, conceptual foundation for public policy analysis than Brown admits. Second, they argue that, far from being too influential in the wor...
Article
Full-text available
Certainly the introduction of product market competition into potentially competitive or, at least contestable, markets can improve performance. To take just one example, Morrison and Whinston (1986, 1986) estimate that even in the imperfectly contestable U.S. airline industry, the annual U.S. welfare gains from deregulation have been around $6 bil...
Article
Organ transplantation as a high-cost surgical and medical procedure poses an extraordinarily rich and complex set of social, ethical, and policy issues. A June 1988 symposium at Vanderbilt University gathered leaders in a wide variety of fields to synthesize the current state of knowledge concerning organ transplantation policy and to access policy...
Article
A complete conceptual framework for policy analysis requires a theory of government supply and government production failure to complement the well-developed theory of market failure provided by welfare economics. Charles Wolf has made an important start by attempting to draw parallels between market failures and the manifestations of government su...
Article
Preface Acknowledgments List of Figures List of Tables Part 1: Introduction to Public Policy Analysis 1. Preview: The Canadian Salmon Fishery 2. What is Policy Analysis? 3. Toward Professional Ethics Part 2: Conceptual Foundations for Problem Analysis 4. Efficiency and the Idealized Competitive Model 5. Rationales for Public Policy: Market Failures...
Article
Four traditional market failures are commonly used to justify public interventions to increase economic efficiency: public goods, externalities, natural monopoly, and information asymmetry. Despite the fact that information asymmetry seems to be the rationale for many programs of direct and indirect regulation on behalf of consumers, it is the leas...
Article
Improvements in surgical procedures and immunosuppressive practices have greatly increased the range and success rate of organ transplants. Unfortunately, supply does not meet demand, and demand is increasing. This paper documents the current level of unsatisfied demand for several transplantable organs, and argues that the extant system of altruis...
Article
Putting prisoners to work has widespread appeal, but the nature of prison labor markets suggests that prisoners may have little incentive to work. The inmate population exhibits sociodemographic and psychological characteristics that correlate highly with labor market difficulties. Moreover, work incentives are bounded by both a guaranteed minimum...
Article
The joint public/private ownership of corporations (referred to as mixed enterprise) is an important, though little studied phenomenon. The key to both the behaviour and usefulness of the mixed enterprise is likely to be the constraint on government direction of the firm that can be exercised by the private shareholders. Analyses those corporations...
Article
The public choice model of urban residential location offers an opportunity to integrate economic and political models of migration, and thus has broad applicability as a positive model of both individual behavior and national policies relating to international migration. The authors describe the basic economic model of the urban migration process...

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