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Voice or Public Sector Management? An Empirical Investigation of Determinants of Public Sector Performance based on a Survey of Public Officials

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  • Daniel Kaufmann

    (The World Bank)

  • Gil Mehrez

    (IMF)

  • Tugrul Gurgur

    (The World Bank)

Abstract

Drawing on an in-depth governance micro-survey of public officials within a country, we address empirically the question of the relative importance of the various determinants of governance. We investigate the causes of poor governance, and show that commonly made inferences about policy based on simple correlation can be highly misleading, because the high correlation between the various governance (and public sector management) determinants, as well as the endogeneity in these variables. We find that undue emphasis may have been given in previous work to a number of conventional public sector management variables (such as civil servant wages, internal enforcement of rules, autonomy of agency by fiat, etc.), while undermining the priority due to more ‘external’ (to public sector management) variables, such as external voice, transparency, and politicization. The latter set of ‘voice’-related variables has larger affect on the quality of service and corruption than the more traditional public sector management type of variables. Further work drawing in depth on country-specific surveys in other settings is warranted to ascertain with more confidence whether a shift towards more prominence to transparency and ‘voice’-type of variables is needed, backstopping the results for Bolivia in this paper.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Econometrics with number 0308004.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 26 Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpem:0308004

Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; pages: 45
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Cited by:
  1. Richard M. Bird & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2008. "Societal Institutions and Tax Effort in Developing Countries," CEMA Working Papers 582, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  2. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "The Impact of Tax Morale and Institutional Quality on the Shadow Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1899, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2005. "The Determinants of Political Discussion: How Important are Audit Courts and Local Autonomy?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-28, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  4. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Government accountability and fiscal discipline: A panel analysis using Swiss data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 117-140, February.
  5. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "Shadow Economy, Tax Morale, Governance and Institutional Quality: A Panel Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 1923, CESifo Group Munich.

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