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Assessing and explaining the relative efficiency of local government

  • Afonso, António
  • Fernandes, Sónia

We assess the relative efficiency of local municipalities using Data Envelopment Analysis and parametric analysis. As an output measure we compute a composite local government indicator of municipal performance, using data for Portuguese municipalities. This allows assessing the extent of possible municipal improvement relative to the "best-practice" frontier. Our results suggest that most municipalities could improve performance without necessarily increasing municipal spending. In a second stage efficiency scores are explained by means of a Tobit analysis with a set of relevant explanatory socio-economic factors playing the role of non-discretionary inputs, such as education and per capita purchasing power.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 1946-1979

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:5:p:1946-1979
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. António Afonso & Miguel St. Aubyn, 2005. "Cross-country Efficiency of Secondary Education Provision: a Semi-parametric Analysis with Nondiscretionary Inputs," Working Papers Department of Economics 2005/05, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
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  8. DE BORGER, Bruno & KERSTENS, K. & MOESEN, Wim & VANNESTE, Jacques, 1992. "Explaining differences in productive efficiency: An application to Belgian municipalities," SESO Working Papers 1992003, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  9. Afonso, António & Schuknecht, Ludger & Tanzi, Vito, 2003. "Public sector efficiency: an international comparison," Working Paper Series 0242, European Central Bank.
  10. Dyson, R. G. & Allen, R. & Camanho, A. S. & Podinovski, V. V. & Sarrico, C. S. & Shale, E. A., 2001. "Pitfalls and protocols in DEA," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 132(2), pages 245-259, July.
  11. Ruggiero, John, 2004. "Performance evaluation when non-discretionary factors correlate with technical efficiency," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 159(1), pages 250-257, November.
  12. Davis, Michael L & Hayes, Kathy, 1993. "The Demand for Good Government," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 148-52, February.
  13. DE BORGER, Bruno & KERSTENS, Kristiaan, 1994. "Cost efficiency of Belgian local governments: A comparative analysis of FDH, DEA and econometric approaches," SESO Working Papers 1994002, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  14. Angel Prieto & José ZofIo, 2001. "Evaluating Effectiveness in Public Provision of Infrastructure and Equipment: The Case of Spanish Municipalities," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 41-58, January.
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  16. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
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  24. de Sousa, Maria da Conceição Sampaio & Ramos, Francisco S., 1999. "Eficiência Técnica e Retornos de Escala na Produção de Serviços Públicos Municipais: o Caso do Nordeste e do Sudeste Brasileiros," Revista Brasileira de Economia, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 53(4), October.
  25. António Afonso & Miguel St. Aubyn, 2005. "Non-parametric approaches to education and health efficiency in OECD countries," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 227-246, November.
  26. Paul Burgat & Claude Jeanrenaud, 1994. "Technical efficiency and institutional variables," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 130(IV), pages 709-717, December.
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