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Public sector efficiency: An international comparison

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  • António Afonso
  • Ludger Schuknecht

    ()

  • Vito Tanzi

Abstract

We compute public sector performance (PSP) and public sector efficiency (PSE) indicators, comprising a composite and seven sub-indicators, for 23 industrialised countries. The first four sub-indicators are “opportunity” indicators that take into account administrative, education and health outcomes and the quality of public infrastructure and that support the rule of law and a level playing-field in a market economy. Three other indicators reflect the standard “Musgravian” tasks for government: allocation, distribution and stabilisation. The input and output efficiency of public sectors across countries is then measured via a non-parametric production frontier technique. The study finds significant differences in PSP and PSE, which suggests a large potential for expenditure savings in many countries. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-005-7165-2
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 123 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 321-347

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:123:y:2005:i:3:p:321-347

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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  1. Tanzi,Vito & Schuknecht,Ludger, 2000. "Public Spending in the 20th Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662918, October.
  2. António Afonso & Miguel St. Aubyn, 2004. "Non-parametric Approaches to Education and Health Expenditure Efficiency in OECD Countries," Working Papers Department of Economics 2004/01, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  3. Tanzi, Vito & Schuknecht, Ludger, 1997. "Reconsidering the Fiscal Role of Government: The International Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 164-68, May.
  4. Dani Rodrik, 2000. "Institutions for High-Quality Growth: What They are and How to Acquire Them," NBER Working Papers 7540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fakin, Barbara & de Crombrugghe, Alain, 1997. "Field adjustments in transition economies : social transfers and the efficiency of public spending - a comparison with OECD countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1803, The World Bank.
  6. Fried, Harold O. & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Shelton S. (ed.), 1993. "The Measurement of Productive Efficiency: Techniques and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072181.
  7. Gupta, Sanjeev & Verhoeven, Marijn, 2001. "The efficiency of government expenditure: experiences from Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 433-467, May.
  8. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Political Institutions and Policy Outcomes: What are the Stylized Facts?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 412, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  9. 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.
  10. Bouthevillain, Carine & Cour-Thimann, Philippine & van de Dool, Gerrit & Hernández de Cos, Pablo & Langenus, Geert & Mohr, Matthias & Momigliano, Sandro & Tujula, Mika, 2001. "Cyclically adjusted budget balances: an alternative approach," Working Paper Series 0077, European Central Bank.
  11. DEPRINS, Dominique & SIMAR, Léopold & TULKENS, Henry, . "Measuring labor-efficiency in post offices," CORE Discussion Papers RP -571, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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