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How far are Portuguese prisons inefficient? A non-parametric approach

  • Marques, Rui
  • Simões, Pedro

In Portugal, as worldwide, especially in the past decades, crime has become an issue of increasing interest both for society and researchers. The global growth of criminality had several repercussions in the prison system. The most direct one was the overcrowding of prisons. This situation required a great amount of investment to increase the capacity of Portuguese prisons. Simultaneously, the value for money associated with the prisons’ budget has turned itself more and more relevant. These circumstances together emphasize the importance of assessing the prisons’ performance. This study measures the efficiency of Portuguese prison facilities by means of the non-parametric benchmarking approach of data envelopment analysis (DEA). However, due to the limitations of this technique, a bootstrap methodology is also applied in order to add more robustness to the results. Furthermore, a recent procedure is computed to evaluate congestion. The results show relevant levels of inefficiency in the Portuguese prison facilities, which represent an excess of several millions of Euros spent inadequately in this sector.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19565.

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Date of creation: 23 Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19565
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  1. Léopold Simar & Paul W. Wilson, 1998. "Sensitivity Analysis of Efficiency Scores: How to Bootstrap in Nonparametric Frontier Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(1), pages 49-61, January.
  2. Pedro Sim�es & Rui Cunha Marques, 2009. "Influence of Congestion Efficiency on the European Seaports Performance: Does It Matter?," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 517-539, July.
  3. Miguel St. Aubyn, 2008. "Law and Order Efficiency Measurement – A Literature Review," Working Papers Department of Economics 2008/19, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  4. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
  5. Kenneth Avio, 1998. "The Economics of Prisons," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 143-175, September.
  6. Tone, Kaoru & Sahoo, Biresh K., 2004. "Degree of scale economies and congestion: A unified DEA approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 158(3), pages 755-772, November.
  7. Tone, Kaoru, 2001. "A slacks-based measure of efficiency in data envelopment analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 130(3), pages 498-509, May.
  8. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
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