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Efficiency of Local Government Spending: Evidence for the Lisbon Region

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  • António Afonso
  • Sónia Fernandes

Abstract

In this paper we measure and analyse expenditure efficiency of Portuguese local governments using a non-parametric technique for production frontier estimation known as Free Disposal Hull. We first construct an index of municipal performance and then compute input and output efficiency scores for 51 Portuguese municipalities located in the region of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo (RLVT) in order to estimate the extent of municipal spending that seems to be 'wasted' relative to the 'best-practice' frontier. The results of our empirical analysis suggest that RLVT municipalities could achieve, on average, roughly the same level of local output with about 39 percent fewer resources, i.e. local performance could be improved without necessarily increasing municipal spending.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon in its series Working Papers Department of Economics with number 2003/09.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp92003

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, Rua do Quelhas 6, 1200-781 LISBON, PORTUGAL
Web page: https://aquila1.iseg.ulisboa.pt/aquila/departamentos/EC

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Keywords: municipal expenditure; efficiency; production possibility frontier; FDH;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. António Afonso & Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 2005. "Public sector efficiency: An international comparison," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 321-347, June.
  4. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
  5. Rowland, Allison M., 2001. "Population as a Determinant of Local Outcomes under Decentralization: Illustrations from Small Municipalities in Bolivia and Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1373-1389, August.
  6. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates Of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532, May.
  7. Blair, Harry, 2000. "Participation and Accountability at the Periphery: Democratic Local Governance in Six Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 21-39, January.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. repec:fth:prinin:379 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. 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.
  12. Kalirajan, K P & Shand, R T, 1999. " Frontier Production Functions and Technical Efficiency Measures," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 149-72, April.
  13. Deller, Steven C, 1992. "Production Efficiency in Local Government: A Parametric Approach," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 47(1), pages 32-44.
  14. Chiara Bronchi, 2003. "The Effectiveness of Public Expenditure in Portugal," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 349, OECD Publishing.
  15. Davis, Michael L & Hayes, Kathy, 1993. "The Demand for Good Government," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 148-52, February.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Agrell, Per J. & Martin West, B., 2001. "A caveat on the measurement of productive efficiency," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-14, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Bernardo Furtado, 2012. "Fiscal income inequalities in Brazilian municipalities and its consequences: identification and efficiency," ERSA conference papers ersa12p686, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Sridhar, Kala Seetharam, 2011. "The Efficiency of States and Cities: Is There a Case for Public Land Leasing and Sales to Finance India.s Cities?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Bernardo Alves Furtado, 2014. "Fiscal Income Inequalities Andefficiency: Evidence From Brazilian Municipalities," Anais do XL Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 40th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 172, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  5. Antonio Afonso & Carla Scaglioni, 2005. "Public Services Efficiency Provision in Italian Regions: a Non-Parametric Analysis," Working Papers Department of Economics 2005/02, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  6. Heikki A. Loikkanen & Ilkka Susiluoto, 2005. "Cost Efficiency of Finnish Municipalities in Basic Service Provision 1994-2002," ERSA conference papers ersa05p37, European Regional Science Association.

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