Efficiency evaluation in municipal services: an application to the street lighting service in Spain
Efficiency evaluation is very important in the municipal realm because of its impact on the people’s standard of living. However, in most cases the value of public output is hardly significant, and therefore measurement is necessarily limited to estimating technical efficiency, which is calculated using physical inputs and outputs. A major part of municipal services can be provided through different types of public management. This plurality of options lends greater relevance to the evaluation. This paper analyzes efficiency in the public street lighting service in Spanish towns, by means of DEA methodology, pursuing two objectives: to estimate the technical efficiency achieved and to discover whether differences in efficiency can be explained by the type of management, that has been chosen, whether public or private. The results of the analysis allow us to confirm that there is a significant relationship between the variables defined as inputs into the process and efficiency. However, the relationship is not very significant for the variables considered as outputs, in some cases. It was also detected that the factors defining the characteristics of the environment and the type of management, whether public or private, do not have a statistically significant impact on efficiency levels. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
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