Spillover ed eterogeneità spaziali nei livelli d’efficienza delle amministrazioni locali: un’applicazione ai comuni dell’Emilia Romagna
The aim of this work is to identify the existence of spatial spillover and spatial heterogeneity in local government efficiency, by using data from a newly constructed database about 341 municipalities from the Italian region Emilia-Romagna. The methodology is based on a two-step procedure. In the first step, cost efficiency scores are estimated by means of non-parametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). In the second step, an Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), which is based on Moran’s I statistic, is applied to the efficiency scores computed in the previous step. Results show that municipalities are cost inefficient, on average, and that positive spatial externalities, in the form of positive spatial autocorrelation, influence the efficiency performance of local government. In particular, municipalities with a high degree of cost efficiency are surrounded by municipalities with a similar level of efficiency and vice versa. At the same time, results also show the existence of relevant spatial heterogeneity. Particular attention has been paid to the heterogeneity coming from outlying observations. Spatial spillovers provide evidence favoring theories of yardstick competition or phenomena like monitoring, benchmarking and knowledge transfer across space. At the same time, the presence of relevant spatial heterogeneity should be further investigated.
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