The economic activity of the public sector is of great economic importance. Topics such as 'privatization' and, in the wake of the financial and economic crisis in 2007/08, increasingly also 'remunicipalisation' are of concern to politics, business, the media and the public alike. We aim to contribute to this discourse by gaining systematic and holistic scientific knowledge about this subject.
The subject of our research is the nature of public enterprises from an economic point of view. The focus is on both theory in the sense of a scientific-theoretical foundation of public enterprises and empiricism.
We want to do justice to the special character of this industry, which is characterized by a logic of action that differs from that of purely private and purely public institutions. This is expressed, for example, with regard to the focus on sustainability and services of general interest paired with (partial) profit-making intentions, the choice of legal forms, the type of tasks assigned (public transport, supply and disposal, hospitals, housing construction - and this sometimes including units with permanent deficits such as parking, swimming pools) etc.
The resulting tension from private-sector action in a public sphere of influence forms our primary area of activity.