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Improving efficiency through consolidation of jurisdictions? Evidence from the cantons of Switzerland

  • Philippe K. Widmer
  • George Elias
  • Peter Zweifel

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the optimal scale of local jurisdictions (cantons) in Switzerland applying Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to the years 2000 to 2004. Aggregate output performance indicators for four local government activities (administration, education, health, and transportation) are used to measure technical and scale efficiency and to derive DEA scores. Results show that these public services fail to exhibit economies of scale, undermining quests for centralization of public good provision while suggesting the possibility of Tiebout competition.

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File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp085.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 085.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:085
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  1. DE BORGER, Bruno & KERSTENS, Kristiaan, 1994. "Cost efficiency of Belgian local governments: A comparative analysis of FDH, DEA and econometric approaches," SESO Working Papers 1994002, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  2. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini, 2006. "An Analysis of Efficiency and Productivity in Swiss Hospitals," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 142(I), pages 1-37, March.
  3. GIJBELS, Irène & MAMMEN, Enno & PARK, Byeong U. & SIMAR, Léopold, 1997. "On estimation of monotone and concave frontier functions," CORE Discussion Papers 1997031, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. 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.
  5. António Afonso & Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 2006. "Public Sector Efficiency: Evidence for New EU Member States and Emerging Markets," Working Papers Department of Economics 2006/01, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  6. 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.
  7. Baleiras, Rui Nuno, 2001. "To Fragment or to Consolidate Jurisdictions: the Optimal Architecture of Government," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp401, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  8. Philippe Widmer & Peter Zweifel, 2012. "Fiscal Equalization, Tiebout Competition, and Incentives for Efficiency in a Federalist Country," Public Finance Review, , vol. 40(1), pages 3-29, January.
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