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Exploring sources of local government technical inefficiency: evidence from Flemish municipalities
[Ursachenforschung zur technischen Ineffizienz kommunaler Verwaltungen: Evidenz von flämischen Gemeindeverwaltungen]

Author

Listed:
  • Geys, Benny
  • Moesen, Wim

Abstract

The present paper explores sources of technical (in)efficiency of Flemish municipalities in their production of local public goods (in the year 2000). In assessing inefficiency derivation, we focus on socio-economic and political characteristics of the municipalities as potential source. Our main findings indicate that while the socio-economic make-up of the population (i.c. income, income inequality, education and unemployment) appears to bear little relation to local (in)efficiency, the reverse holds for the municipal financial situation (i.c. grants, historical debt and fiscal surplus) as well as population size and density. Also, different types of communities – i.e. agricultural, residential, industrial, touristic or urbanised – are generally found to achieve comparable performance levels in providing ‘core’ public services. While indicative, the limitations of our dataset imply that further work is vital before definitive conclusions (as well as causal inferences) can be made.

Suggested Citation

  • Geys, Benny & Moesen, Wim, 2008. "Exploring sources of local government technical inefficiency: evidence from Flemish municipalities
    [Ursachenforschung zur technischen Ineffizienz kommunaler Verwaltungen: Evidenz von flämischen Gem
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2008-18, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200818
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Geys, Benny & Heinemann, Friedrich & Kalb, Alexander, 2010. "Voter involvement, fiscal autonomy and public sector efficiency: Evidence from German municipalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 265-278, June.
    2. Geys, Benny & Konrad, Kai A., . "Federalism and optimal allocation across levels of governance," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Geys, Benny & Heinemann, Friedrich & Kalb, Alexander, 2007. "Local Governments in the Wake of Demographic Change: Efficiency and Economies of Scale in German Municipalities," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-036, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technical efficiency; government performance; Socio-economic typology; Flemish municipalities;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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