Politics and resource use in local government service production
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This thesis included five essays studying the performance of local governments in Norway. Four of the essays address variation in resource allocation and efficiency between the local governments, the fifth analyses variation in service level. The thesis has mainly an empirical orientation. One essay, presented in Chapter 4, provides a theoretical contribution to the study of efficiency variation in public sector service production. The empirical analyses concentrate on two spending components local government administration and long-term care. Chapter 2 and 3 study variation in the size of local government administration. Administration is a necessary input in both service provision and in the political decision-making process, and administrative spending competes with the welfare services for resources. The size of the administrative component determines the amount of resources available for the production of welfare services. Cost efficiency and service level within long-term care are the topics of Chapter 5 and 6 respectively. Long-tem care for elderly and disabled persons is, besides primary education, the major expenditure component of the municipalities.
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