The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Why the privatisation of public goods might fail: a social dilemma approach

Van Vugt, M. (1997) Why the privatisation of public goods might fail: a social dilemma approach Social Psychology Quarterly, 60, (4), pp. 355-367.

Record type: Article


This study advanced a social dilemma analysis to examine the role of self-interested and prosocial concerns in the approval of a real-life structural solution: the privatization of the British national railway system in 1996. As predicted, disapproval of privatizing this public good increased when people were more concerned about the transition costs of privatization, and about how privatization would affect their personal outcomes (e.g., travel convenience) and the outcomes for the collective (e.g., railway accessibility). Moreover, the approval of privatization among people guided primarily by their self-interest (i.e., pro-self individuals) was influenced more strongly by personal outcome concerns. Contrary to hypothesis, however, prosocial individuals' approval of privatization was not influenced more strongly by collective outcome concerns. Finally, people who disapproved of privatization also exhibited a weaker intention to travel by train in the future, an indication that the willingness to engage in collectively desirable behavior may decrease when people fail to endorse a structural solution.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1997


Local EPrints ID: 18505
ISSN: 0190-2725
PURE UUID: 89399267-5f8f-4641-b4d6-0b8d3a82682b

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Dec 2005
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:35

Export record


Author: M. Van Vugt

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.