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Spend more, get more? An inquiry into English local government performance

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Based on a unique measure of performance of English local governments in the provision of public services (Comprehensive Performance Assessment, CPA), this paper develops a simple analytical framework that fully encompasses the institutional features of the British system of local government finance in order to model the process of performance determination, and uses panel data (2002-2007) to identify the determinants of local government performance. Due to the nature of CPA ratings - measured on a five category (poor to excellent) scale - the empirical work relies on an ordered response approach allowing for cross-sectional heterogeneity. Maximum likelihood estimation of a random effects ordered probit model provides no evidence in support of the “spend more, get more” hypothesis, but rather suggests that spending in excess of centrally set standards has a detrimental effect on local public service performance.

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Paper provided by University of Turin in its series Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers with number 200804.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:uto:dipeco:200804

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Cited by:
  1. Villani, Salvatore, 2010. "Elementi ai fini della definizione della nozione di costo standard: una rassegna della letteratura e delle principali esperienze estere
    [Basic elements defining the standard cost concept. A survey
    ," MPRA Paper 29683, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Villani, Salvatore, 2010. "Per un giusto equilibrio tra efficacia ed efficienza nell’attuazione della legge delega sul federalismo fiscale: verso la definizione dei LEP e dei costi standard delle Regioni," MPRA Paper 29513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Geys, Benny & Konrad, Kai A., 2010. "Federalism and optimal allocation across levels of governance," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2010-09, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  4. Lockwood, Ben & Porcelli, Francesco, 2011. "Incentive Schemes for Local Government : Theory and Evidence from Comprehensive Performance Assessment in England," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 960, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Maria Alessandra Antonelli & Veronica Grembi, 2014. "Central Targets and local Agendas: Missing Lisbon 2010," Public Finance Research Papers 6, Istituto di Economia e Finanza, DIGEF, Sapienza University of Rome.

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