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Do democratic participation and education of councillors foster efficiency of local governments in Poland? An agency theory perspective

Radosław Piwowarski ()
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Radosław Piwowarski: University of Lodz, Department of Economic Mechanisms, Faculty of Economics and Sociology

Bank i Kredyt, 2019, vol. 50, issue 5, 479-492

Abstract: This article primarily investigates the influence of voter turnout and education of councillors on the efficiency of public goods delivery by Polish municipalities in 2011 and 2015. Efficiency is measured by the PSE index. The results reveal a positive impact of voter turnout on public sector efficiency. We confirm the existence of an agency relationship, in which higher voter turnout, through more public interest, creates pressure on the effective behaviour of the elected officials. Exceptions to this are shown in the biggest cities. The negative correlation may theoretically point towards electoral activation in the case of poor local authority assessments, and thus opposition to its further activities. According to estimates, the level of the councillors education negatively affects public sector efficiency. We reject the existence of an agency relationship, in which citizens try to select highly qualified councillors, expecting them to provide more public goods. There may be exceptions in the biggest cities.

Keywords: agency theory; public sector efficiency; democratic participation; voter turnout (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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