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Determinants of service quality in bureaucracy: Parkinson's theory at work

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  • Jochimsen, Beate

Abstract

Parkinson’s law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion and that the number of administrators in an office is bound to increase over time. An unique laboratory to test Parkinson’s ideas are vehicle registration offices in Germany. Using their data we found empirical support for Parkinson’s law: First, service quality is no better in offices that have more staff per case. Second, service quality is worse if the service procedure is disaggregated into multiple smaller sub-services. Third, the staff size is a convex function of the number of customers. These results are robust to specifications in various alternative models. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2007/11.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:200711

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Keywords: Bureaucracy; Parkinson’s law; Waiting time; Service Quality; Queueing Theory;

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  1. McKee, Michael & Wintrobe, Ronald, 1993. "The decline of organizations and the rise of administrators : Parkinson's Law in theory and practice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 309-327, July.
  2. Genaro J. Gutierrez & Panagiotis Kouvelis, 1991. "Parkinson's Law and Its Implications for Project Management," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(8), pages 990-1001, August.
  3. Breton,Albert & Wintrobe,Ronald, 2008. "The Logic of Bureaucratic Conduct," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521071727, April.
  4. Lindsay, Cotton M & Feigenbaum, Bernard, 1984. "Rationing by Waiting Lists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 404-17, June.
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