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Improving efficiency through consolidation of jurisdictions? Evidence from the cantons of Switzerland

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  • Philippe K. Widmer
  • George Elias
  • Peter Zweifel

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the optimal scale of local jurisdictions (cantons) in Switzerland applying Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to the years 2000 to 2004. Aggregate output performance indicators for four local government activities (administration, education, health, and transportation) are used to measure technical and scale efficiency and to derive DEA scores. Results show that these public services fail to exhibit economies of scale, undermining quests for centralization of public good provision while suggesting the possibility of Tiebout competition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 085.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:085

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Keywords: DEA; efficiency measurement; economies of scale; public good provision; Switzerland;

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  1. António Afonso & Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 2006. "Public Sector Efficiency: Evidence for New EU Member States and Emerging Markets," Working Papers Department of Economics 2006/01, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  2. SIMAR, Léopold & WILSON, Paul, 1995. "Sensitivity Analysis to Efficiency Scores : How to Bootstrap in Nonparametric Frontier Models," CORE Discussion Papers 1995043, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. 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.
  4. Gijbels, Irène & Mammen, Enno & Park, Byeong U. & Simar, Léopold, 1998. "On estimation of monotone and concave frontier functions," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1998,9, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  5. Simar, L. & Wilson, P.W., 1999. "Statistical Inference in Nonparametric Frontier Models: the State of the Art," Papers 9904, Catholique de Louvain - Institut de statistique.
  6. Baleiras, Rui Nuno, 2001. "To Fragment or to Consolidate Jurisdictions: the Optimal Architecture of Government," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp401, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  7. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini, 2006. "An Analysis of Efficiency and Productivity in Swiss Hospitals," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 142(I), pages 1-37, March.
  8. Philippe Widmer & Peter Zweifel, 2012. "Fiscal Equalization, Tiebout Competition, and Incentives for Efficiency in a Federalist Country," Public Finance Review, , vol. 40(1), pages 3-29, January.
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