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Evaluating efficient public good provision: Theory and evidence from a generalised conditional efficiency model for public libraries

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  • Witte, Kristof De
  • Geys, Benny

Abstract

Provision of most public goods (e.g., health care, libraries, education, police, fire protection, utilities) can be characterized by a two-stage production process. In the first-stage, basic inputs (e.g., labor and capital) are used to generate service potential (e.g., opening hours, materials), which is then, in the second-stage, transformed into observed outputs (e.g., school outcomes, library circulation, crimes solved). As final outputs are also affected by demand-side factors, conflating both production stages likely leads to biased inferences about public productive (in)efficiency and its determinants. Hence, this paper uses a specially tailored, fully non-parametric efficiency model allowing for both outlying observations and heterogeneity to analyse efficient public good provision in stage one only. We thereby employ a dataset comprising all 290 Flemish public libraries. Our findings suggest that ideological stance of the local government, wealth and density of the local population and source of library funding (i.e., local funding versus intergovernmental transfers) strongly affect library productive efficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 319-327

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:69:y:2011:i:3:p:319-327

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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Keywords: Public good provision Conditional efficiency Nonparametric estimation Libraries Local government;

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Cited by:
  1. Asatryan, Zareh & De Witte, Kristof, 2014. "Direct democracy and local government efficiency," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-017, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Luis César Herrero-Prieto, 2013. "Is Museum Performance Affected By Location And Institution Type? Measuring Cultural Institution Efficiency Through Non-Parametric Techniques," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp425, IIIS.
  3. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Evidence on the political principal-agent problem from voting on public finance for concert halls," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 215-238, September.
  4. Yan, Jia & Oum, Tae Hoon, 2014. "The effect of government corruption on the efficiency of US commercial airports," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 119-132.
  5. Tiziana Cuccia & Calogero Guccio & Ilde Rizzo, 2013. "Does Unesco inscription affect the performance of tourism destinations? A regional perspective," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-04-2013, the Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Oct 2013.
  6. De Witte, Kristof & Geys, Benny, 2013. "Citizen coproduction and efficient public good provision: Theory and evidence from local public libraries," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 224(3), pages 592-602.
  7. Bekkerman, Anton & Gilpin, Gregory, 2013. "High-speed Internet growth and the demand for locally accessible information content," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-10.
  8. Cordero Ferrera, Jose Manuel & Alonso Morán, Edurne & Nuño Solís, Roberto & Orueta, Juan F. & Souto Arce, Regina, 2013. "Efficiency assessment of primary care providers: A conditional nonparametric approach," MPRA Paper 51926, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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