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Local Government Efficiency: Evidence from the Czech Municipalities

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Abstract

We measure cost efficiency of 202 Czech municipalities of extended scope in period 2003-2008. The study is the first application of overall efficiency measurement of the local governments in the new EU member states, and the second in post-communist countries. We measure government efficiency through established quantitative and qualitative indicators of the provision of education, cultural facilities, infrastructure and other local services. First, we employ non-parametric approach of the data envelopment analysis and adjust the efficiency scores by bootstrapping. Second, we employ the stochastic frontier analysis and control for effects of various demographic, economic, and political variables. We compare scores under our preferred specification, i.e. pseudo-translog time-variant stochastic-frontier analysis with determinants, with alternative scores. The determinants that robustly increase inefficiency are population size, distance to the regional center, share of university-educated citizens, capital expenditures, subsidies per capita, and the share of self-generated revenues. Concerning political variables, increase in party concentration and the voters' involvement increases efficiency, and local council with a lower share of left-wing representatives also tend to be more efficient. We interpret determinants both as indicators of slack, non-discretionary inputs, and unobservable outputs. The analysis is conducted also for the period 1994-1996, where political variables appear to influence inefficiency in a structurally different way. From comparison of the two periods, we obtain that small municipalities improve efficiency significantly more that large municipalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Lenka Š astná & Martin Gregor, 2011. "Local Government Efficiency: Evidence from the Czech Municipalities," Working Papers IES 2011/14, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised May 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2011_14
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    File URL: http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/default/file/download/id/16530
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    1. De Borger, B & Kerstens, K. & Moesen, W. & Vanneste, J., 1994. "Explaining Differences in Productive Efficiency: An Application to Belgian Municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 80(3-4), pages 339-358, September.
    2. Balaguer-Coll, Maria Teresa & Prior, Diego & Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2007. "On the determinants of local government performance: A two-stage nonparametric approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 425-451, February.
    3. Christian von Hirschhausen & Astrid Cullmann & Andreas Kappeler, 2006. "Efficiency analysis of German electricity distribution utilities - non-parametric and parametric tests," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(21), pages 2553-2566.
    4. VANDEN EECKAUT, Philippe & TULKENS, Henry & JAMAR, Marie-Astrid, 1993. "Cost efficiency in Belgian municipalities," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1033, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. De Borger, Bruno & Kerstens, Kristiaan, 1996. "Cost efficiency of Belgian local governments: A comparative analysis of FDH, DEA, and econometric approaches," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 145-170, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jugal Mahabir, 2014. "Quantifying Inefficient Expenditure in Local Government: A Free Disposable Hull Analysis of a Sample of South African Municipalities," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 82(4), pages 493-517, December.
    2. Francesco Aiello & Graziella Bonanno & Luigi Capristo, 2017. "Explaining Differences In Efficiency: The Case Of Local Government Literature," Working Papers 201704, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    3. Oleksandr Shepotylo, 2012. "Cities in Transition," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 54(3), pages 661-688, September.
    4. Rafael Sanchez & Francisca Pacheco, 2014. "A Longitudinal Parametric Approach to Estimate Local Government Efficiency," Working Papers wp_033, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.
    5. Isabel Narbón-Perpiñá & Kristof De Witte, 2016. "Local governments’ efficiency: A systematic literature review – Part II," Working Papers 2016/21, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    6. Isabel Narbón-Perpiñá & Kristof De Witte, 2016. "Local governments’ efficiency: A systematic literature review – Part I," Working Papers 2016/20, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public spending efficiency; Data Envelopment Analysis; Stochastic Frontier Analysis; local governments;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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