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Assessing and explaining the relative efficiency of local government

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  • Afonso, António
  • Fernandes, Sónia

Abstract

We assess the relative efficiency of local municipalities using Data Envelopment Analysis and parametric analysis. As an output measure we compute a composite local government indicator of municipal performance, using data for Portuguese municipalities. This allows assessing the extent of possible municipal improvement relative to the "best-practice" frontier. Our results suggest that most municipalities could improve performance without necessarily increasing municipal spending. In a second stage efficiency scores are explained by means of a Tobit analysis with a set of relevant explanatory socio-economic factors playing the role of non-discretionary inputs, such as education and per capita purchasing power.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 1946-1979

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:5:p:1946-1979

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Local government Technical efficiency Socio-economic factors DEA Tobit;

References

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  1. Afonso, Antonio & St. Aubyn, Miguel, 2006. "Cross-country efficiency of secondary education provision: A semi-parametric analysis with non-discretionary inputs," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 476-491, May.
  2. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  3. Hayes, Kathy J & Razzolini, Laura & Ross, Leola B, 1998. " Bureaucratic Choice and Nonoptimal Provision of Public Goods: Theory and Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(1-2), pages 1-20, January.
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  5. António Afonso & Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 2005. "Public sector efficiency: An international comparison," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 321-347, June.
  6. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  7. Schwab, Robert M. & Oates, Wallace E., 1991. "Community composition and the provision of local public goods : A normative analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-237, March.
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  9. Antonio Afonso & Sonia Fernandes, 2006. "Measuring local government spending efficiency: Evidence for the Lisbon region," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 39-53.
  10. Maria da Conceição Sampaio de Sousa & Francisco S. Ramos, 1999. "Eficiência Técnica e Retornos de Escala na Produção de Serviços Públicos Municipais: o Caso do Nordeste e do Sudeste Brasileiros," Revista Brasileira de Economia, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 53(4), pages 433-461, October.
  11. Ruggiero, John, 2004. "Performance evaluation when non-discretionary factors correlate with technical efficiency," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 159(1), pages 250-257, November.
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  14. Grossman, Philip J. & Mavros, Panayiotis & Wassmer, Robert W., 1999. "Public Sector Technical Inefficiency in Large U.S. Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 278-299, September.
  15. Dyson, R. G. & Allen, R. & Camanho, A. S. & Podinovski, V. V. & Sarrico, C. S. & Shale, E. A., 2001. "Pitfalls and protocols in DEA," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 132(2), pages 245-259, July.
  16. De Borger, Bruno & Kerstens, Kristiaan, 1996. "Cost efficiency of Belgian local governments: A comparative analysis of FDH, DEA, and econometric approaches," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 145-170, April.
  17. Hamilton, Bruce W., 1983. "The flypaper effect and other anomalies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 347-361, December.
  18. De Borger, B, et al, 1994. " Explaining Differences in Productive Efficiency: An Application to Belgian Municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 80(3-4), pages 339-58, September.
  19. Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
  20. Heikkila, Eric J., 1996. "Are municipalities Tieboutian clubs?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 203-226, April.
  21. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Bönisch & Peter Haug & A. Illy & L. Schreier, 2011. "Municipality Size and Efficiency of Local Public Services: Does Size Matter?," IWH Discussion Papers 18, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  2. da Cruz, Nuno Ferreira & Marques, Rui Cunha, 2014. "Revisiting the determinants of local government performance," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 91-103.
  3. Aleksander Aristovnik, 2013. "Relative Efficiency of Education Expenditures in Eastern Europe: A Non-parametric Approach," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, ScientificPapers.org, vol. 3(3), pages 4, June.
  4. Cosmin Eugen ENACHE, 2012. "The efficiency of expenditure-related redistributive policies in the European countries," Timisoara Journal of Economics, West University of Timisoara, Romania, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 5(18), pages 380-394.
  5. Põldaru, Reet & Roots, Jüri, 2014. "A PCA–DEA approach to measure the quality of life in Estonian counties," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 65-73.
  6. Laura Carosi & Giovanna D’Inverno & Letizia Ravagli, 2014. "Global public spending efficiency in Tuscan municipalities," Discussion Papers 2014/175, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  7. Bernardo Furtado, 2013. "Balancing investments in public service personnel and its healthcare provision output: an efficiency analysis for Brazilian municipalities," ERSA conference papers ersa13p1183, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Sok-Gee Chan Mohd & Zaini Abd Karim, 2012. "Public Spending Efficiency And Political And Economic Factors: Evidence From Selected East Asian Countries," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 57(193), pages 7-24, April- Ju.
  9. António Afonso & Ana Venâncio, 2013. "The relevance of commuting zones for regional spending efficiency," Working Papers Department of Economics 2013/17, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  10. Adam, Antonis & Delis, Manthos D. & Kammas, Pantelis, 2011. "Are democratic governments more efficient?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 75-86, March.

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