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Europeans and services of general interest: where is the best quality perceived?

Paola Annoni

No unimi-1034, UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics from Universitá degli Studi di Milano

Abstract: This paper aims to classify eighteen European regions on the basis of various criteria which reflect the overall performance of services of general interest, as perceived by consumers. The analysis is based on the Eurobarometer survey carried out in 2002, at the request of the European Commission, which collects citizens opinion about various political and social issues. The focus of the analysis is on public level of satisfaction about access easiness, cost, quality, information received and contracts of different services, such as telephone services, power (gas and electricity) providers, water and postal utilities, urban and rail transports. The final goal is the comparison of the overall erceived performance of public utility service providers among countries. The paper agrees with recent recommendations of performing multiple ranking, keeping indicators separated, in spite of conventional solutions based on composite indicators. To obtain a country ranking on services, satisfaction indicators are set up for each country and different innovative data-analysis methods are applied: a partial order methodology, based on Hasse diagrams and two dimensionality reduction techniques, POSAC method and Nonlinear PCA, particularly suitable to handle data of categorical type. As it frequently occurs, each method has its own advantages which are here explored and compared. Such evaluation has the aim of detecting prospective weak points within European areas. Results could be jointly used, mutatis mutandis, with typical Eurobarometer reports carried out regularly at request of the European Commission - Directorate of General Health and Consumer Protection, such as those specifically focused on services of general interest.

Keywords: european services quality; multiple ranking; Hasse diagram; POSAC; Non-linear PCA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006-07-26
Note: oai:cdlib1:unimi-1034
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