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The Impact of Contracting Out on the Costs of Refuse Collection Services - The Case of Ireland

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Author Info

  • Eoin Reeves

    (University of Limerick)

  • Michael Barrow

    (University of Sussex)

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of contracting out on the costs incurred by local authorities in providing refuse collection services. Using original survey data for the Republic of Ireland, three methods of estimating the impact of tendering are adopted. Crude comparisons of costs before and after tendering and the costs of local authorities versus private contractors indicate that tendering can yield savings of between 34 and 45 per cent. Using multivariate regression analysis to enable us to control for service characteristics confirms cost savings of around 45 per cent. The bulk of these cost savings are attributed to real efficiency gains as a result of contracting out.

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File URL: http://www.esr.ie/vol31_2/2Reeves.pdf
File Function: First version, 2000
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

Volume (Year): 31 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 129-150

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Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:31:y:2000:i:2:p:129-150

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References

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  1. Domberger, Simon & Jensen, Paul, 1997. "Contracting Out by the Public Sector: Theory, Evidence, Prospects," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 67-78, Winter.
  2. Stevens, Barbara J, 1978. "Scale, Market Structure, and the Cost of Refuse Collection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(3), pages 438-48, August.
  3. Domberger, S & Meadowcroft, S & Thompson, D J, 1986. "Competitive tendering and efficiency: the case of refuse collection," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 7(4), pages 69-87, November.
  4. Barrett, Alan & Lawlor, John, 1995. "The Economics of Solid Waste Management in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS26.
  5. Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C, 1984. "Production Frontiers and Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 367-74, October.
  6. Stefan Szymanski, 1993. "Cheap rubbish? Competitive tendering and contracting out in refuse collection, 1981-88," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 14(3), pages 109-30, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Ohlsson, Henry, 1998. "Ownership and Production Costs - Choosing Between Public Production and Contracting Out," Working Paper Series 1998:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. repec:esr:chaptr:jacb200506 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Cuadrado-Ballesteros, Beatriz & García-Sánchez, Isabel-María & Prado-Lorenzo, José-Manuel, 2013. "Effect of modes of public services delivery on the efficiency of local governments: A two-stage approach," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 23-35.
  4. Copenhagen Economics & KPMG, 2011. "VAT in the Public Sector and Exemptions in the Public Interest," Taxation Studies 0037, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
  5. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond Gradus, 2004. "Cost savings of contracting out refuse collection," Public Economics 0409002, EconWPA.
  6. Paul H. Jensen & Robin E. Stonecash, 2004. "The Efficiency of Public Sector Outsourcing Contracts: A Literature Review," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n29, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  7. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond H J M Gradus, 2008. "Institutional developments in the Dutch waste-collection market," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 26(1), pages 110-126, February.
  8. Norimichi Matsueda & Jun'ichi Miki, 2013. "Contracting-Out of Household Waste Collection Services in Japan," Discussion Paper Series 111, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Nov 2013.
  9. Germà Bel & Melania Mur, 2008. "Intermunicipal cooperation and privatization of solid waste services among small municipalities in Spain," IREA Working Papers 200816, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Dec 2008.
  10. Germà Bel & Xavier Fageda & Mildred E. Warner, 2009. "Is Private Production of Public Services Cheaper than Public Production? A meta-regression analysis of solid waste and water services," IREA Working Papers 200923, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Oct 2009.
  11. Germa Bel & Anton Costas, 2006. "Do Public Sector Reforms Get Rusty? Local Privatization in Spain," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24.
  12. Graziano Abrate & Fabrizio Erbetta & Giovanni Fraquelli & Davide Vannoni, 2012. "Size and Density Economies in Refuse Collection," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 274, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  13. Suho Bae, 2010. "Public Versus Private Delivery Of Municipal Solid Waste Services: The Case Of North Carolina," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(3), pages 414-428, 07.
  14. E. Dijkgraaf & R. H. J. M. Gradus & B. Melenberg, 2003. "Contracting out refuse collection," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 553-570, July.
  15. Copenhagen Economics, 2013. "VAT in the Public Sector and Exemptions in the Public Interest," Taxation Studies 0045, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
  16. Morgenroth, Edgar, 2005. "Waste Collection, Double Taxation and Local Finance," Papers BP2006/4, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

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