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Public sector efficiency: the roles of political and budgetary institutions, fiscal capacity, and democratic participation

  • Lars-Erik Borge


  • Torberg Falch


  • Per Tovmo


The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether efficiency in public service provision is affected by political and budgetary institutions, fiscal capacity, and democratic participation. In order to address this issue we take advantage of a new global efficiency measure for Norwegian local governments. There is strong evidence that high fiscal capacity and a high degree of party fragmentation contributes to low efficiency. In addition we find that increased democratic participation tends to increase efficiency, while a centralized top down budgetary process is associated with low efficiency.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 136 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 475-495

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:136:y:2008:i:3:p:475-495
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  1. Per Tovmo, 2007. "Budgetary Procedures and Deficits in Norwegian Local Governments," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 37-49, January.
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  14. De Borger, B, et al, 1994. " Explaining Differences in Productive Efficiency: An Application to Belgian Municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 80(3-4), pages 339-58, September.
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  18. Dennis C. Mueller & Thomas Stratmann, 2002. "The Economic Effects of Democratic Participation," CESifo Working Paper Series 656, CESifo Group Munich.
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  24. Geys, Benny, 2006. "Looking across borders: A test of spatial policy interdependence using local government efficiency ratings," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 443-462, November.
  25. Grosskopf, Shawna & Hayes, Kathy J. & Taylor, Lori L. & Weber, William L., 2001. "On the Determinants of School District Efficiency: Competition and Monitoring," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 453-478, May.
  26. Strom, Bjarne, 1995. "Envy, Fairness and Political Influence in Local Government Wage Determination: Evidence from Norway," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(247), pages 389-409, August.
  27. Duncombe, William & Miner, Jerry & Ruggiero, John, 1997. " Empirical Evaluation of Bureaucratic Models of Inefficiency," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(1-2), pages 1-18, October.
  28. Revelli, Federico & Tovmo, Per, 2007. "Revealed yardstick competition: Local government efficiency patterns in Norway," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 121-134, July.
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