Event Detail

Thu Feb 16, 2017
Howison Library, 4–6 PM
Philosophy Colloquium
Debra Satz (Stanford University)
Problems with Privatization

What’s wrong, if anything, when governments contract out services from garbage collecting to prisons? Most of the literature on this topic has focused on two dimensions of concern: efficiency and accountability. In this talk, I make the case for also evaluating privatization along two other dimensions: privatization can lead to objectionable inequalities and it can change the decision path in ways that change or corrupt public goals. I illustrate the first of these points with respect to education and the second of these points with respect to prisons. My analysis gives us reasons for serious concern in both these cases, although it does not provide grounds for an absolute rejection to such privatization.