Efficiency of public spending in developing countries : an efficiency frontier approach
Government spending in developing countries typically account for between15 and 30 percent of GDP. Hence, small changes in the efficiency of public spending could have a major impact on GDP and on the attainment of the government's objectives. The first challenge that stakeholders face is measuring efficiency. This paper attempts such quantification and has two major parts. The first part estimates efficiency as the distance between observed input-output combinations and an efficiency frontier (defined as the maximum attainable output for a given level of inputs). This frontier is estimated for several health and education output indicators by means of the Free Disposable Hull (FDH) and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) techniques. Both input-inefficiency (excess input consumption to achieve a level of output) and output-inefficiency (output shortfall for a given level of inputs) are scored in a sample of 140 countries using data from 1996 to 2002. The second part of the paper seeks to verify empirical regularities of the cross-country variation in efficiency. Results show that countries with higher expenditure levels register lower efficiency scores, as well as countries where the wage bill is a larger share of the government's budget. Similarly, countries with higher ratios of public to private financing of the service provision score lower efficiency, as do countries plagued by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and those with higher income inequality. Countries with higher aid-dependency ratios also tend to score lower in efficiency, probably due to the volatility of this type of funding that impedes medium term planning and budgeting. Though no causality may be inferred from this exercise, it points at different factors to understand why some countries might need more resources than others to achieve similar educational and health outcomes.
|Date of creation:||01 Jun 2005|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Léopold Simar & Paul Wilson, 2000.
"Statistical Inference in Nonparametric Frontier Models: The State of the Art,"
Journal of Productivity Analysis,
Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 49-78, January.
- Simar, L. & Wilson, P.W., 1999. "Statistical Inference in Nonparametric Frontier Models: the State of the Art," Papers 9904, Catholique de Louvain - Institut de statistique.
- Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
- Sen, Amartya, 1981. "Public Action and the Quality of Life in Developing Countries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 43(4), pages 287-319, November.
- Varian, Hal R., 1990. "Goodness-of-fit in optimizing models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 125-140.
- Laurens Cherchye & Thierry Post, 2003. "Methodological Advances in DEA: A survey and an application for the Dutch electricity sector," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 57(4), pages 410-438.
- Mark Berger & Jodi Messer, 2002. "Public financing of health expenditures, insurance, and health outcomes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(17), pages 2105-2113.
- 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.
- Isabelle Joumard & Per Mathis Kongsrud & Young-Sook Nam & Robert W. R. Price, 2004. "Enhancing the Effectiveness of Public Spending: Experience in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 380, OECD Publishing.
- Haque, N. U. & Pesaran, M. H. & Sharma, Sunil, 1999. "Neglected Heterogeneity and Dynamics in Cross-country Savings Regressions," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9904, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- International Monetary Fund, 1999. "Neglected Heterogeneity and Dynamics in Cross-Country Savings Regressions," IMF Working Papers 99/128, International Monetary Fund.
- Farasat A. S. Bokhari & Yunwei Gai & Pablo Gottret, 2007. "Government health expenditures and health outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 257-273.
- Farasat A.S. Bokhari & Yunwei Gai & Pablo Gottret, 2005. "Government Health Expenditures and Health Outcomes," Working Papers wp2005_02_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University, revised May 2006.
- Jayasuriya, Ruwan & Wodon, Quentin, 2003. "Measuring and Explaining Country Efficiency in Improving Health and Education Indicators," MPRA Paper 11183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Kevin Cullinane & Dong-Wook Song, 2003. "A stochastic frontier model of the productive efficiency of Korean container terminals," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 251-267.
- Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "On Measuring Aggregate "Social Efficiency."," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 273-292, January.
- Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "In measuring aggregate"social efficiency"," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3166, The World Bank.
- Nancy Birdsall & Stijn Claessens & Ishac Diwan, 2003. "Policy Selectivity Forgone: Debt and Donor Behavior in Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(3), pages 409-435, December.
- Nancy Birdsall & Stijn Claessens & Ishac Diwan, 2002. "Policy Selectivity Foregone: Debt and Donor Behavior in Africa," Working Papers 17, Center for Global Development.
- António Afonso & Miguel St. Aubyn, 2004. "Non-parametric Approaches to Education and Health Expenditure Efficiency in OECD Countries," Working Papers Department of Economics 2004/01, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
- Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
- Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2002. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Working Papers 54, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Sep 2005.
- Andrew Worthington, 2001. "An Empirical Survey of Frontier Efficiency Measurement Techniques in Education," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 245-268.
- Hanushek, Eric A. & Luque, Javier A., 2003. "Efficiency and equity in schools around the world," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 481-502, October.
- Eric A. Hanushek & Javier A. Luque, 2002. "Efficiency and Equity in Schools around the World," NBER Working Papers 8949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- G. S. Maddala, 1987. "Limited Dependent Variable Models Using Panel Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(3), pages 307-338.
- Tsangyao Chang, 2002. "An econometric test of Wagner's law for six countries based on cointegration and error-correction modelling techniques," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(9), pages 1157-1169.
- Eric A. Hanushek, 2003. "The Failure of Input-Based Schooling Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 64-98, February.
- Eric A. Hanushek, 2002. "The Failure of Input-based Schooling Policies," NBER Working Papers 9040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2003. "Robust nonparametric estimation of efficiency and technical change in U.S. commercial banking," Working Papers 2003-037, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
- Paul W. Wilson & David C. Wheelock, 2004. "Robust Nonparametric Estimation of Efficiency and Technical Change in U.S. Commercial Banking," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 433, Econometric Society.
- Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1999. "The impact of public spending on health: does money matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(10), pages 1309-1323, November.
- António Afonso & Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 2005. "Public sector efficiency: An international comparison," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 321-347, June.
- Schuknecht, Ludger & Tanzi, Vito & Afonso, António, 2003. "Public sector efficiency: an international comparison," Working Paper Series 242, European Central Bank.
- Nin, Alejandro & Arndt, Channing & Preckel, Paul V., 2003. "Is agricultural productivity in developing countries really shrinking? New evidence using a modified nonparametric approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 395-415, August.
- Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
- Le Grand, Julian, 1987. "Inequalities in health : Some international comparisons," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 182-191.
- Wobst, Peter & Arndt, Channing, 2003. "HIV/AIDS and Primary School Performance in Tanzania," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25870, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
- Cazals, Catherine & Florens, Jean-Pierre & Simar, Leopold, 2002. "Nonparametric frontier estimation: a robust approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 1-25, January.
- Paul Bishop & Steven Brand, 2003. "The efficiency of museums: a stochastic frontier production function approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(17), pages 1853-1858.
- Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3645. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.