Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Assessing The Performance Of The Public Sector

Contents:

Author Info

  • Pierre Pestieau

Abstract

One is used to hearing harsh statements about inefficient public services. It is not surprising to see public sector performance questioned. What is surprising is that what is meant by performance, and how it is measured, does not seem to matter much to either the critics or the advocates of the public sector. The purpose of this paper is to suggest a definition, and a way to measure the performance of the public sector or rather of its main components. Our approach is explicitly rooted in the principles of welfare and production economics. We will proceed in four stages. First of all we present what we call the 'performance approach' to the public sector. This concept rests on the principal-agent relation that links a principal, i.e., the State, and an agent, i.e., the person in charge of the public sector unit, and on the definition of performance as the extent to which the agent fulfils the objectives assigned by the principal. The performance is then measured by using the notion of productive efficiency and the 'best practice' frontier technique. In the second stage we move to the issue of measuring the performance of some canonical components of the public sector (education, health care and railways transport), assuming that there is no constraint as to data availability. The idea is to disentangle the usual confusion between conceptual and data problems. In the third stage, we move to real world data problems. The question is then given the available data, whether it makes sense to assess and measure the performance of such public sector activities. The final stage is devoted to explaining performance or rather lack thereof. This exercise has clear implications for public policy. Finally we argue that when the scope is not components but the entirety of the public sector, one should restrict the performance analysis to outcomes and not relate them to inputs. Copyright � 2009 The Author Journal compilation � CIRIEC 2009.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=synergy&synergyAction=showTOC&journalCode=apce&volume=80&issue=1&year=2009&part=null
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics.

Volume (Year): 80 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 133-161

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:80:y:2009:i:1:p:133-161

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=1370-4788

Order Information:
Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=1370-4788

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Bernadette Biatour & Mathieu Lefebvre & Sergio Pereleman & Pierre Pestieau, 2005. "Faut-il un ou plusieurs indicateurs d'exclusion sociale?," CREPP Working Papers 0503, Centre de Recherche en Economie Publique et de la Population (CREPP) (Research Center on Public and Population Economics) HEC-Management School, University of Liège.
  2. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & Bleichrodt, Han & Calonge, Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna & Hakkinen, Unto & Leu, Robert E., 1997. "Income-related inequalities in health: some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 93-112, February.
  3. Gathon, H. -J. & Pestieau, P., 1995. "Decomposing efficiency into its managerial and its regulatory components: The case of European railways," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 500-507, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Tiemann, Oliver & Schreyögg, Jonas & Busse, Reinhard, 2012. "Hospital ownership and efficiency: A review of studies with particular focus on Germany," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 163-171.
  2. Peeters, Marga, 2011. "Demographic pressure, excess labour supply and public-private sector employment in Egypt - Modelling labour supply to analyse the response of unemployment, public finances and welfare," MPRA Paper 31101, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. José Cordero Ferrera & Eva Cebada & Luis Murillo Zamorano, 2014. "The effect of quality and socio-demographic variables on efficiency measures in primary health care," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 289-302, April.
  4. Oliver Tiemann & Jonas Schreyögg, 2012. "Changes in hospital efficiency after privatization," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 310-326, December.
  5. Anna Montén & Christian Thater, 2010. "Determinants of efficiency in child care provision," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper Nr. 83, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:80:y:2009:i:1:p:133-161. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.