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Evaluating efficient public good provision: Theory and evidence from a generalised conditional efficiency model for public libraries

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  • De Witte, Kristof
  • Geys, Benny

Abstract

Provision of most public goods (e.g., health care, libraries, education, police, fire protection, utilities) can be characterised by a two-stage production process. In the first stage, basic inputs (e.g., labour and capital) are used to generate service potential (e.g., opening hours, materials), which is then, in the second stage, transformed into observed outputs (e.g., school outcomes, library circulation, crimes solved). As final outputs are also affected by demand-side factors, conflating both production stages likely leads to biased inferences about public productive (in)efficiency and its determinants. Hence, this paper uses a specially tailored, fully non-parametric efficiency model allowing for both outlying observations and heterogeneity to analyse efficient public good provision in stage one only. We employ a dataset comprising all 290 Flemish public libraries. Our findings suggest that ideological stance of the local government, wealth and density of the local population and source of library funding (i.e., local funding versus intergovernmental transfers) strongly affect library productive efficiency. -- Die Bereitstellung der meisten öffentlichen Güter (zum Beispiel Gesundheitsversorgung, Bibliotheken, Bildung, Polizei, Brandschutz, Stadtwerke) kann durch einen zweistufigen Produktionsprozess charakterisiert werden. In der ersten Stufe werden Produktionsfaktoren (beispielsweise Arbeit und Kapital) zur Erzeugung eines Dienstleistungspotenzials (beispielsweise Öffnungszeiten, Materialien) genutzt. Dieses Potenzial wird dann, in der zweiten Phase, in den beobachtbaren Output transformiert (zum Beispiel in Schulleistungen der Schüler, dem Bücherumlauf einer Bibliothek, aufgedeckte Straftaten). Da das Endergebnis auch von den Faktoren der Nachfrageseite bestimmt ist, führt eine unzureichende Trennung beider Produktionsstufen wahrscheinlich zu verzerrten Rückschlüssen bezüglich der öffentlichen produktiven (In-)Effizienz und ihrer Determinanten. Daher wird in dem Paper ein speziell zugeschnittenes, vollständig nichtparametrisches Effizienz-Modell benutzt. Dieses Modell ermöglicht isoliert für die 1. Produktionsstufe die Analyse der effizienten Bereitstellung öffentlicher Güter in einem Schritt. Dabei benutzen die Autoren einen Datensatz, welcher alle 290 flämischen öffentlichen Bibliotheken enthält. Die Ergebnisse legen nahe, dass die ideologische Einstellung der Gemeindeverwaltungen, Wohlstand und Dichte der ortsansässigen Bevölkerung, sowie die Art der Bibliotheksfinanzierung (zum Beispiel lokale Finanzierung oder überregionale Transfers) stark die produktive Effizienz der Bibliotheken beeinflussen.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" with number SP II 2010-14.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbfff:spii201014

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Keywords: Public good provision; conditional efficiency; nonparametric estimation; libraries; local govenment;

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Cited by:
  1. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Evidence on the Political Principal-Agent Problem from Voting on Public Finance for Concert Halls," CESifo Working Paper Series 4306, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Asatryan, Zareh & De Witte, Kristof, 2014. "Direct democracy and local government efficiency," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-017, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Yan, Jia & Oum, Tae Hoon, 2014. "The effect of government corruption on the efficiency of US commercial airports," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 119-132.
  4. De Witte, Kristof & Geys, Benny, 2013. "Citizen coproduction and efficient public good provision: Theory and evidence from local public libraries," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 224(3), pages 592-602.
  5. Cordero Ferrera, Jose Manuel & Alonso Morán, Edurne & Nuño Solís, Roberto & Orueta, Juan F. & Souto Arce, Regina, 2013. "Efficiency assessment of primary care providers: A conditional nonparametric approach," MPRA Paper 51926, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Bekkerman, Anton & Gilpin, Gregory, 2013. "High-speed Internet growth and the demand for locally accessible information content," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-10.
  7. Tiziana Cuccia & Calogero Guccio & Ilde Rizzo, 2013. "Does Unesco inscription affect the performance of tourism destinations? A regional perspective," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-04-2013, the Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Oct 2013.
  8. A. Ruijs & M. Kortelainen & A. Wossink & C.J.E. Schulp & R. Alkemade & Paul Madden, 2012. "Opportunity cost estimation of ecosystem services," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series, Economics, The University of Manchester 1222, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  9. Luis César Herrero-Prieto, 2013. "Is Museum Performance Affected By Location And Institution Type? Measuring Cultural Institution Efficiency Through Non-Parametric Techniques," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series, IIIS iiisdp425, IIIS.

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