Citizens' control and the efficiency of local public services
AbstractIt is generally accepted that fiscal decentralization increases citizens’ control over politicians, fostering accountability and increasing efficiency. This article identifies the socioeconomic characteristics of citizens (potential voters) that increase their control over local policy-makers and thus generate greater efficiency in a decentralized context. We also highlight the fiscal characteristics of local governments that influence this control and efficiency. The study examines a sample of Spanish municipalities, applying a methodology based on the conventional procedure of two-stage estimation. In the first stage we estimate the efficiency of local public services by calculating a new version of a global output indicator using the DEA technique. In the second stage, using a Tobit type estimation (censored models) and bootstrap methods, we show how the factors mentioned may influence efficiency. The results suggest that strong presence of retailers, retired people, and people entitled to vote favour citizens’ control, which fosters accountability and efficiency. A factor that facilitates this control, and therefore greater efficiency, is the presence of low opportunity costs for obtaining information regarding local public service management.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2010/23.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Technical efficiency; local governments; citizens' control; socioeconomic and fiscal variables;
Other versions of this item:
- N�ria Bosch & Marta Espasa & Toni Mora, 2012. "Citizen control and the efficiency of local public services," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(2), pages 248-266, April.
- Nuria Bosch & Marta Espasa & Toni Mora, 2010. "Citizens control and the efficiency of local public services," Working Papers in Economics 247, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-11-06 (All new papers)
- NEP-EFF-2010-11-06 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-PBE-2010-11-06 (Public Economics)
- NEP-URE-2010-11-06 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Victor M. Giménez & Diego Prior, 2007. "Long- and Short-Term Cost Efficiency Frontier Evaluation: Evidence from Spanish Local Governments," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(1), pages 121-139, 03.
- 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.
- M. Teresa Balaguer-Coll & Diego Prior, 2009. "Short- and long-term evaluation of efficiency and quality. An application to Spanish municipalities," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(23), pages 2991-3002.
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