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Evaluating efficient public good provision: Theory and evidence from a generalised conditional efficiency model for public libraries

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  • De Witte, Kristof
  • Geys, Benny

Abstract

Provision of most public goods (e.g., health care, libraries, education, police, fire protection, utilities) can be characterised by a two-stage production process. In the first stage, basic inputs (e.g., labour and capital) are used to generate service potential (e.g., opening hours, materials), which is then, in the second stage, transformed into observed outputs (e.g., school outcomes, library circulation, crimes solved). As final outputs are also affected by demand-side factors, conflating both production stages likely leads to biased inferences about public productive (in)efficiency and its determinants. Hence, this paper uses a specially tailored, fully non-parametric efficiency model allowing for both outlying observations and heterogeneity to analyse efficient public good provision in stage one only. We employ a dataset comprising all 290 Flemish public libraries. Our findings suggest that ideological stance of the local government, wealth and density of the local population and source of library funding (i.e., local funding versus intergovernmental transfers) strongly affect library productive efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • De Witte, Kristof & Geys, Benny, 2010. "Evaluating efficient public good provision: Theory and evidence from a generalised conditional efficiency model for public libraries," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2010-14, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbfff:spii201014
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    Cited by:

    1. Calogero Guccio & Marco Martorana & Isidoro Mazza & Ilde Rizzo, 2016. "Back to the Future. The effect of digital technology on the performance of public historical archives," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-10-2016, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Sep 2016.
    2. Cordero Ferrera, Jose Manuel & Alonso Morán, Edurne & Nuño Solís, Roberto & Orueta, Juan F. & Souto Arce, Regina, 2013. "Efficiency assessment of primary care providers: A conditional nonparametric approach," MPRA Paper 51926, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Victor Fernandez-Blanco & Ana Rodriguez-Alvarez, 2015. "Measuring allocative efficiency in cultural economics: The case of Fundacion Princesa de Asturias," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-09-2015, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Oct 2015.
    4. Amir B. Ferreira Neto & Joshua Hall, 2017. "Economies of Scale and Governance of Library Systems: Evidence from West Virginia," Working Papers 17-13, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    5. Paul Rodríguez-Lesmes & José D. Trujillo & Daniel Valderrama, 2015. "Are Public Libraries Improving Quality of Education? When the Provision of Public Goods is not Enough," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, December.
    6. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Evidence on the political principal-agent problem from voting on public finance for concert halls," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 215-238, September.
    7. repec:eee:jomega:v:73:y:2017:i:c:p:93-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Isabel Narbón-Perpiñá & Mª Teresa Balaguer-Coll & Marko Petrovic & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2017. "Which estimator to measure local governments’ cost efficiency? An application to Spanish municipalities," Working Papers 2017/06, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    9. Asatryan, Zareh & De Witte, Kristof, 2015. "Direct democracy and local government efficiency," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 58-66.
    10. Jarle Trondal & Zuzana Murdoch & Benny Geys, 2015. "Representative Bureaucracy and the Role of Expertise in Politics," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 3(1), pages 26-36.
    11. Cuccia, Tiziana & Guccio, Calogero & Rizzo, Ilde, 2016. "The effects of UNESCO World Heritage List inscription on tourism destinations performance in Italian regions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 494-508.
    12. Víctor Fernández-Blanco & Luis César Herrero & Juan Prieto-Rodríguez, 2013. "Performance of cultural heritage institutions," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage, chapter 24, pages i-i Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. A. Ruijs & M. Kortelainen & A. Wossink & C.J.E. Schulp & R. Alkemade & Paul Madden, 2012. "Opportunity cost estimation of ecosystem services," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1222, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    14. Luis César Herrero-Prieto, 2013. "Is Museum Performance Affected By Location And Institution Type? Measuring Cultural Institution Efficiency Through Non-Parametric Techniques," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp425, IIIS.
    15. Yan, Jia & Oum, Tae Hoon, 2014. "The effect of government corruption on the efficiency of US commercial airports," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 119-132.
    16. Bekkerman, Anton & Gilpin, Gregory, 2013. "High-speed Internet growth and the demand for locally accessible information content," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-10.
    17. Cordero, José Manuel & Alonso-Morán, Edurne & Nuño-Solinis, Roberto & Orueta, Juan F. & Arce, Regina Sauto, 2015. "Efficiency assessment of primary care providers: A conditional nonparametric approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 240(1), pages 235-244.
    18. De Witte, Kristof & Geys, Benny, 2013. "Citizen coproduction and efficient public good provision: Theory and evidence from local public libraries," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, pages 592-602.
    19. Andrei Akhremenko & Alexander Petrov & Egor Yureskul, 2017. "TFP Estimates and Frontier-Generated Production Function: A New Dataset for Political Science," HSE Working papers WP BRP 54/PS/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    20. repec:lrk:eeaart:35_3_15 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Tiziana Cuccia & Calogero Guccio & Ilde Rizzo, 2013. "Does Unesco inscription affect the performance of tourism destinations? A regional perspective," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-04-2013, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Oct 2013.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public good provision; conditional efficiency; nonparametric estimation; libraries; local govenment;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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