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Voice or public sector management? An empirical investigation of determinants of public sector performance based on a survey of public officials

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  • Daniel Kaufmann
  • Gil Mehrez
  • Tugrul Gurgur

Abstract

Drawing on an in-depth governance micro-survey of public officials in Bolivia, we address empirically the question of the relative importance of the various determinants of governance. We find that commonly made inferences about policy based on simple correlation can be highly misleading due to the high correlation between the various governance determinants, as well as the endogeneity in these variables. We find that undue emphasis may have been given in the previous work to a number of conventional public-sector management variables (such as civil servant wages, internal enforcement of rules, autonomy of agency by fiat, etc.), while undermining the priority of “external” (to public sector management) variables, such as citizen voice and transparency. The latter set of “voice”-related variables has a larger effect on the service delivery performance and corruption than the more traditional public-sector management type of variables.

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  • Daniel Kaufmann & Gil Mehrez & Tugrul Gurgur, 2019. "Voice or public sector management? An empirical investigation of determinants of public sector performance based on a survey of public officials," Journal of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 321-348, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:recsxx:v:22:y:2019:i:1:p:321-348
    DOI: 10.1080/15140326.2019.1627718
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    2. William Easterly, 2002. "The cartel of good intentions: The problem of bureaucracy in foreign aid," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 223-250.
    3. Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2005. "The Determinants of Political Discussion: How Important are Audit Courts and Local Autonomy?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-28, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. World Bank Group, 2014. "Strategic Framework for Mainstreaming Citizen Engagement in World Bank Group Operations," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21113.
    5. Richard M. Bird & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2014. "Societal Institutions and Tax Effort in Developing Countries," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(1), pages 301-351, May.
    6. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2007. "Shadow Economy, Tax Morale, Governance and Institutional Quality: A Panel Analysis," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt26s710z8, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    7. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2007. "Shadow Economy, Tax Morale, Governance and Institutional Quality: A Panel Analysis," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt26s710z8, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    8. Andrews, Matt & Pritchett, Lant & Woolcock, Michael, 2017. "Building State Capability: Evidence, Analysis, Action," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198747482.
    9. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2009. "The impact of tax morale and institutional quality on the shadow economy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 228-245, April.
    10. Sajjad Ali Khan, 2021. "Decentralization and the Limits to Service Delivery: Evidence From Northern Pakistan," SAGE Open, , vol. 11(1), pages 21582440219, February.
    11. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Government accountability and fiscal discipline: A panel analysis using Swiss data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 117-140, February.
    12. Leonid Peisakhin, 2012. "Transparency and Corruption: Evidence from India," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 129-149.
    13. Ana Cárcaba & Eduardo González & Juan Ventura & Rubén Arrondo, 2017. "How Does Good Governance Relate to Quality of Life?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(4), pages 1-16, April.

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    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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