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Empirical Analysis 19943/94 to 1995/96 of Productivity in Australian Local Government

Author: ANDREW C. WORTHIINGTON AND BRIAN E. DOLLERY
Published in PAQ, Vol. 26 No. 2

In this study, the nature and extent of efficiency and productivity
growth in Australian local government is investigated using nonparametric
frontier technique. Employing Malmquist indices, productivity
growth is decomposed into technical efficiency change and technological
change for two important local government functions: domestic
waste management and recycling services and planning and regulatory
services. The results indicate that there was little or no productivity
growth at the frontier during the period in question although there was
substantial improvement in the relative efficiency of nearly all councils
in both functions. That productivity growth which did occur appears
largely due to and increase in efficiency over the period with improvements
in scale efficiency dominating for larger, urban developed
councils and improvements in technical efficiency being notable for
smaller, rural agricultural councils.

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