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Citizen coproduction and efficient public good provision: Theory and evidence from local public libraries

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  • De Witte, Kristof
  • Geys, Benny

Abstract

In both public administration and economics, efficiency is brought forward as an important criterion for evaluating administrative actions. Clearly, its value as an assessment principle depends on our ability to adequately measure efficiency. This article argues that citizen’s coproduction in public services requires a careful reassessment of how we approach the measurement of productive efficiency in public service delivery. Theoretically, we illustrate that using observable outcomes (e.g., library circulation, school results, health outcomes, fires extinguished, and crimes solved) as output indicators is inappropriate and leads to biased estimates of public service providers’ productive efficiency. This bias arises because citizens co-determine final outputs, leaving them at least partly beyond the service providers’ control. Empirically, we find supportive evidence of both the existence and importance of such ‘demand-induced’ bias.

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  • 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, vol. 224(3), pages 592-602.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:224:y:2013:i:3:p:592-602 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2012.09.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Calogero Guccio & Marco Martorana & Isidoro Mazza & Ilde Rizzo, 2016. "Back to the Future. The effect of digital technology on the performance of public historical archives," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-10-2016, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Sep 2016.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:kap:jproda:v:48:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11123-017-0500-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Daniele, Gianmarco & Geys, Benny, 2015. "Interpersonal trust and welfare state support," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-12.
    5. repec:eee:jomega:v:73:y:2017:i:c:p:93-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Cordero, José Manuel & Alonso-Morán, Edurne & Nuño-Solinis, Roberto & Orueta, Juan F. & Arce, Regina Sauto, 2015. "Efficiency assessment of primary care providers: A conditional nonparametric approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 240(1), pages 235-244.
    7. Calogero Guccio & Anna Mignosa & Ilde Rizzo, 2017. "Disentangle inefficiency in the production activities of Italian national libraries: A network DEA approach," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-04-2017, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Mar 2017.
    8. Jarle Trondal & Zuzana Murdoch & Benny Geys, 2015. "Representative Bureaucracy and the Role of Expertise in Politics," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 3(1), pages 26-36.
    9. Witte, Kristof De & Geys, Benny, 2011. "Evaluating efficient public good provision: Theory and evidence from a generalised conditional efficiency model for public libraries," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, pages 319-327.
    10. Cordero, José Manuel & Pedraja-Chaparro, Francisco & Pisaflores, Elsa C. & Polo, Cristina, 2016. "Efficiency assessment of Portuguese municipalities using a conditional nonparametric approach," MPRA Paper 70674, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Citizen coproduction; Public service provision; Technical efficiency; Local government; Libraries;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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