Exploring the impact of public services on quality of life indicators
The fundamental aim of public services is to improve the quality of life of citizens. The main objective of this study was to investigate the influence of public service organisations (PSOs) on aspects of quality of life (broadly measured) of citizens at a local level. We assembled a rich database using 20 of the 45 quality of life measures developed by the Audit Commission. Those we selected covered broad areas of quality of life such as safety, housing, health, education, and transport and were available at ‘small area’ level. We used a range of advanced statistical methods to analyse the relationships between PSOs and quality of life measures at different hierarchical levels. The techniques were selected to be robust when making comparisons between levels and when looking at associations between quality of life measures. Our descriptive analyses (bivariate correlations, factor analysis and ANOVA) suggested overall some significant correlations between some of the quality of life variables. The SUR model results also indicated that the quality of life indicators are correlated, and therefore that we should look at these measures in a joint modelling approach such as MVML, as envisaged in the study objectives.
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