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Public-Sector Efficiency and Political Culture

Author

Listed:
  • Raffaela Giordano
  • Pietro Tommasino

Abstract

The cost-effective public provision of high-quality goods and services is crucial for long-term growth. We study the determinants of public-sector efficiency (PSE) and in particular the role of citizens´ political values. Indeed, we argue that citizens´ willingness to monitor public affairs is necessary if policymakers are to be held accountable for what they do and deterred from wasting public resources. Contrary to other papers, our empirical analysis exploits within-country variation, thereby reducing the risk of omitted-variable bias and implicitly controlling for differences in formal institutions. First, we compute PSE measures for several public services (education, civil justice, health care, child care, and waste disposal) for the 103 Italian provinces; then we show that a higher degree of political engagement increases PSE. This remains true even after controlling for the possible endogeneity of political values. In our analysis, values specifically related to the political sphere are kept distinct from generically prosocial values. Our results suggest that the latter have no independent effect on PSE.

Suggested Citation

  • Raffaela Giordano & Pietro Tommasino, 2013. "Public-Sector Efficiency and Political Culture," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 69(3), pages 289-316, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201309)69:3_289:peapc_2.0.tx_2-a
    DOI: 10.1628/001522108X671137
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:rujoec:v:1:y:2015:i:2:p:154-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Antonio Bubbico, 2013. "Administrative Continuity: Enhancer or Constraint for Regional Governments' Efficiency?," ERSA conference papers ersa13p493, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Barone, Guglielmo & de Blasio, Guido, 2013. "Electoral rules and voter turnout," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 25-35.
    4. Graziano Abrate & Federico Boffa & Fabrizio Erbetta & Davide Vannoni, 2013. "Corruption, Accountability and Efficiency. An Application to Municipal Solid Waste Services," Working papers 022, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    5. repec:bla:jregsc:v:57:y:2017:i:2:p:319-341 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Di Liberto, Adriana & Sideri, Marco, 2015. "Past dominations, current institutions and the Italian regional economic performance," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 12-41.
    7. Marcin, Piatkowski, 2009. "The Coming Golden Age of New Europe," MPRA Paper 19523, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Silvia Camussi & Anna Laura Mancini, 2016. "Individual trust: does quality of public services matter?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1069, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    9. Amanda Carmignani & Francesco Bripi & Raffaela Giordano, 2011. "The quality of public services in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 84, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. Giovanna d'Adda & Guido Blasio, 2017. "Historical Legacy And Policy Effectiveness: The Long-Term Influence Of Preunification Borders In Italy," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 319-341, March.
    11. Marcella Corsi & Carlo D'Ippoliti, 2013. "The productivity of the public sector: A Classical view," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 66(267), pages 403-434.
    12. repec:eee:poleco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:121-140 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Silvia Giacomelli & Carlo Menon, 2012. "Firm Size and Judicial Efficiency in Italy: Evidence from the Neighbour's Tribunal," SERC Discussion Papers 0108, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    14. Corsi, Marcella & D'Ippoliti, Carlo & Gumina, Andrea & Battisti, Michele, 2006. "eGEP Economic Model: Final Report on the Benefits, Costs and Financing of eGovernment," MPRA Paper 34396, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public spending; efficiency; culture;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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