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Public-Sector Efficiency and Political Culture

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  • Raffaela Giordano
  • Pietro Tommasino

Abstract

The cost-effective public provision of high-quality goods and services is crucial for long-term growth. We study the determinants of public-sector efficiency (PSE) and in particular the role of citizens´ political values. Indeed, we argue that citizens´ willingness to monitor public affairs is necessary if policymakers are to be held accountable for what they do and deterred from wasting public resources. Contrary to other papers, our empirical analysis exploits within-country variation, thereby reducing the risk of omitted-variable bias and implicitly controlling for differences in formal institutions. First, we compute PSE measures for several public services (education, civil justice, health care, child care, and waste disposal) for the 103 Italian provinces; then we show that a higher degree of political engagement increases PSE. This remains true even after controlling for the possible endogeneity of political values. In our analysis, values specifically related to the political sphere are kept distinct from generically prosocial values. Our results suggest that the latter have no independent effect on PSE.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 69 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 289-316

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201309)69:3_289:peapc_2.0.tx_2-a

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Keywords: public spending; efficiency; culture;

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Cited by:
  1. Silvia Giacomelli & Carlo Menon, 2012. "Firm Size and Judicial Efficiency in Italy: Evidence from the Neighbour's Tribunal," SERC Discussion Papers 0108, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  2. Marcella Corsi & Carlo D'Ippoliti, 2013. "The productivity of the public sector: A Classical view," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 66(267), pages 403-434.
  3. Graziano Abrate & Federico Boffa & Fabrizio Erbetta & Davide Vannoni, 2013. "Corruption, Accountability and Efficiency. An Application to Municipal Solid Waste Services," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 316, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  4. Amanda Carmignani & Francesco Bripi & Raffaela Giordano, 2011. "The quality of public services in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 84, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  5. Marcin, Piatkowski, 2009. "The Coming Golden Age of New Europe," MPRA Paper 19523, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Antonio Bubbico, 2013. "Administrative Continuity: Enhancer or Constraint for Regional Governments' Efficiency?," ERSA conference papers ersa13p493, European Regional Science Association.
  7. Corsi, Marcella & D'Ippoliti, Carlo & Gumina, Andrea & Battisti, Michele, 2006. "eGEP Economic Model: Final Report on the Benefits, Costs and Financing of eGovernment," MPRA Paper 34396, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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