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Modelling Effectiveness-Equity Trade-Offs in Public Service Delivery Systems


  • Marvin B. Mandell

    (Policy Sciences Graduate Program, University of Maryland Graduate School, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland 21228)


Distributional equity is a particularly salient objective in public sector decision making, in general, and decision making concerning the delivery of public services such as education, libraries, sanitation, and public safety, in particular. In this paper two related bicriteria mathematical programming models are developed for identifying the trade-offs between overall output (effectiveness) and equity that result from alternative allocations of service resources among different service delivery sites (branches). The models developed here incorporate equity in a more satisfactory manner than have previous efforts. An illustrative application of the models to the allocation of new books among the branches of a public library system is presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Marvin B. Mandell, 1991. "Modelling Effectiveness-Equity Trade-Offs in Public Service Delivery Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(4), pages 467-482, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:37:y:1991:i:4:p:467-482

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    1. Mandell, Marvin B. & Becker, Les R., 1996. "A model for locating automatic external defibrillators," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 51-66, March.
    2. Singer, Marcos & Donoso, Patricio & Poblete, Francisco, 2002. "Semi-autonomous planning using linear programming in the Chilean General Treasury," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 517-529, July.
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    4. Ogryczak, Wlodzimierz, 2000. "Inequality measures and equitable approaches to location problems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 374-391, April.
    5. Feng, Chenpeng & Chu, Feng & Ding, Jingjing & Bi, Gongbing & Liang, Liang, 2015. "Carbon Emissions Abatement (CEA) allocation and compensation schemes based on DEA," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 78-89.
    6. Drezner, Tammy & Drezner, Zvi & Hulliger, Beat, 2014. "The Quintile Share Ratio in location analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 238(1), pages 166-174.
    7. ReVelle, C. S. & Eiselt, H. A., 2005. "Location analysis: A synthesis and survey," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 165(1), pages 1-19, August.
    8. Athanassopoulos, Antreas D., 1995. "Goal programming & data envelopment analysis (GoDEA) for target-based multi-level planning: Allocating central grants to the Greek local authorities," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 535-550, December.
    9. Antreas D. Athanassopoulos, 1998. "Decision Support for Target-Based Resource Allocation of Public Services in Multiunit and Multilevel Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(2), pages 173-187, February.
    10. Ogryczak, Wlodzimierz, 1997. "On the lexicographic minimax approach to location problems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 566-585, August.
    11. repec:eee:apmaco:v:263:y:2015:i:c:p:280-286 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Qian, Fubin & Gribkovskaia, Irina & Laporte, Gilbert & Halskau sr., Øyvind, 2012. "Passenger and pilot risk minimization in offshore helicopter transportation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 584-593.
    13. Graber-Naidich, Anna & Carter, Michael W. & Verter, Vedat, 2017. "Restructuring the resident training system for improving the equity of access to primary care," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 258(3), pages 1143-1155.
    14. Adriana Acevedo Tirado & Mariana Ruiz Morales & Odette Lobato-Calleros, 2015. "Additional Indicators to Promote Social Sustainability within Government Programs: Equity and Efficiency," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(7), pages 1-17, July.
    15. Perugia, Alessandro & Moccia, Luigi & Cordeau, Jean-François & Laporte, Gilbert, 2011. "Designing a home-to-work bus service in a metropolitan area," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1710-1726.
    16. Jie Wu & Qingyuan Zhu & Wade D Cook & Joe Zhu, 2016. "Best cooperative partner selection and input resource reallocation using DEA," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 67(9), pages 1221-1237, September.
    17. Cao, Wenwei & Çelik, Melih & Ergun, Özlem & Swann, Julie & Viljoen, Nadia, 2016. "Challenges in service network expansion: An application in donated breastmilk banking in South Africa," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 33-48.


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