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Measuring the efficiency of public services: the limits of analysis

Smith, P.C. and Street, A. (2005) Measuring the efficiency of public services: the limits of analysis. Journal of the Royal Statistical Soceity: Series A (Statistics in Society), 168 (2). pp. 401-417. ISSN 0964-1998

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Policy makers are increasingly seeking to develop overall measures of the effi-ciency of public service organizations. For that, the use of 'off-the-shelf' statistical tools such as data envelopment analysis and stochastic frontier analysis have been advocated as tools to measure organizational efficiency. The analytical sophistication of such methods has reached an advanced stage of development. We discuss the context within which such models are deployed, their underlying assumptions and their usefulness for a regulator of public services. Four specific model building issues are discussed: the weights that are attached to public service outputs; the specification of the statistical model; the treatment of environmental influences on performance; the treatment of dynamic effects. The paper concludes with recommendations for policy makers and researchers on the development and use of efficiency measurement techniques.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Centre for Health Economics (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2009 14:12
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2009 14:12
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-985X.2005.00355.x
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1467-985X.2005.00355.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6939

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