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Efficiency in Public Administration

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Abstract:

This paper reviews the conceptualization and use of
efficiency in recent public administration and management literature.
The literature identifies efficiency as an explanatory variable for
increasing privatization of the public sector. Unfortunately,
conceptualization and use of efficiency in this literature appears
inconsistent at times because of a lack of precision concerning two
similar but distinct meanings. First, there is allocative
efficiency—the marginal utility of a good or service is equal to its
marginal cost of production. Second, there is economic efficiency—the
manufacturing costs involved with produce of a good or service.
This paper untangles and clarifies these conceptualizations and uses of
efficiency in the public administration and management literature by
providing the following analysis. First is a discussion of why
conceptualization and use of efficiency in the public sector is
important regarding its study, practice, and democracy. Second is a
review of classic and contemporary public administration literature
that highlights the evolution of efficiency as a meaningful concept.
Third is an overview of three conceptualizations of efficiency—Pareto
efficiency, cost-benefit (Kaldor-Hicks) efficiency, and x-efficiency.
Fourth is an analysis of selected recent publications and how they
individually and collectively address the issue of efficiency in the
public sector. Fifth is a discussion of the benefits for the discipline
and democracy from developing a more consistent approach toward
discussing and analyzing efficiency. Finally, concluding remarks
summarize the findings of this paper and offer suggestions for
additional clarity of importance of concepts in public administration
and management.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

effici (139), administr (103), public (81), agenc (65), use (51), format (38), conceptu (35), concept (32), polit (31), outcom (30), pareto (28), manag (27), output (26), appropri (22), analysi (22), new (20), make (19), organ (18), wilson (18), product (18), observ (17),
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Association:
Name: The Midwest Political Science Association
URL:
http://www.indiana.edu/~mpsa/


Citation:
URL: http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p83878_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Sheppard, Maurice. "Efficiency in Public Administration" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois, Apr 15, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p83878_index.html>

APA Citation:

Sheppard, M. , 2004-04-15 "Efficiency in Public Administration" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p83878_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper reviews the conceptualization and use of
efficiency in recent public administration and management literature.
The literature identifies efficiency as an explanatory variable for
increasing privatization of the public sector. Unfortunately,
conceptualization and use of efficiency in this literature appears
inconsistent at times because of a lack of precision concerning two
similar but distinct meanings. First, there is allocative
efficiency—the marginal utility of a good or service is equal to its
marginal cost of production. Second, there is economic efficiency—the
manufacturing costs involved with produce of a good or service.
This paper untangles and clarifies these conceptualizations and uses of
efficiency in the public administration and management literature by
providing the following analysis. First is a discussion of why
conceptualization and use of efficiency in the public sector is
important regarding its study, practice, and democracy. Second is a
review of classic and contemporary public administration literature
that highlights the evolution of efficiency as a meaningful concept.
Third is an overview of three conceptualizations of efficiency—Pareto
efficiency, cost-benefit (Kaldor-Hicks) efficiency, and x-efficiency.
Fourth is an analysis of selected recent publications and how they
individually and collectively address the issue of efficiency in the
public sector. Fifth is a discussion of the benefits for the discipline
and democracy from developing a more consistent approach toward
discussing and analyzing efficiency. Finally, concluding remarks
summarize the findings of this paper and offer suggestions for
additional clarity of importance of concepts in public administration
and management.

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Abstract Only All Academic Inc.
Associated Document Available The Midwest Political Science Association
Associated Document Available Political Research Online

Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 23
Word count: 5345
Text sample:
Efficiency in Public Administration Maurice Sheppard Department of Political Science Alma College Alma MI 48801 Email: sheppard@alma.edu Prepared for presentation at the 2004 Midwest Political Science Association Conference Chicago IL. April 2004. 3/26/04 2 ABSTRACT This paper identifies alternative conceptualizations of efficiency and proposes a systematic framework to assist in their appropriate use to enhance the utility of public administration research. Presentation of the analysis is in the following manner. First is a discussion of the theoretical significance conceptualizing
Press. Wilson James Q. 1989. Bureaucracy. New York: Basic Books. Wilson Woodrow. 1887. “The Study of Administration.” Political Science Quarterly 2:197-222. 23 FIGURE 1 Outcomes Observable Unobservable Outputs Observable PRODUCTION PROCEDURAL (+) KH / (+) Pareto (+) KH / (-) Pareto CRAFT COPING Unobservable (-) KH / (+) Pareto (-) KH / (-) Pareto Based on: Wilson James Q. 1989. Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It. New York: Basic Books.


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