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Corporatization in the public sector : explaining the growth of local government companies.

Ferry, L. and Andrews, R. and Skelcher, C. and Wegorowski, P. (2020) 'Corporatization in the public sector : explaining the growth of local government companies.', Public administration review., 80 (3). pp. 482-493.


The creation of companies by local governments to provide public services—referred to as “corporatization”—is an example of systemic public entrepreneurship that is popular across the world. To build knowledge of the antecedents of public sector entrepreneurship, the authors investigate the factors that lead local governments to create companies for public service delivery. Using zero‐inflated negative binomial regressions to analyze secondary data from 150 major English local governments for 2010–16, the authors find that governments with higher levels of grant dependence and debt dependence are more involved in the creation and operation of companies, as are larger governments. Further analysis reveals that very low and very high managerial capabilities are strongly associated with more involvement in profit‐making companies, while local government involvement in companies is more prevalent in deprived areas. At the same time, government ownership of companies is more common in areas with high economic output.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Ferry, L, Andrews, R, Skelcher, C & Wegorowski, P (2020). Corporatization in the public sector: Explaining the growth of local government companies. Public Administration Review 80(3): 482-493 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:07 March 2019
Date deposited:19 March 2019
Date of first online publication:22 April 2019
Date first made open access:22 April 2021

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