Academic journal article International Journal of Sport Finance

Assessing the Efficiency of Local Entities in the Provision of Public Sports Facilities

Academic journal article International Journal of Sport Finance

Assessing the Efficiency of Local Entities in the Provision of Public Sports Facilities

Article excerpt


In recent years, Spanish municipal authorities have been devoting important amounts of their resources to financing the construction and maintenance of sports facilities. However, the current financial climate has led to a decrease in the resources available, while demand by citizens has continued to grow. Management must therefore become more efficient if quality services are to continue to be offered. Analysis of the factors that affect efficiency of local entities provides important strategic information. A twostage double bootstrap procedure was used to estimate the efficiency determinants of Spanish local entities in the provision of public sports facilities. In the first stage, robust efficiency estimates were obtained with a data envelopment analysis (DEA). We applied the nonparametric double bootstrap model by Simar and Wilson (2007), which is based on a truncated-regression. This estimated the effect of a group of environmental factors on robust DEA estimates. The results showed the existence of a significant relationship between efficiency and all of the analyzed variables. We also considered the influence of the political sign of the governing party.

Keywords: data envelopment analysis (DEA), performance, public sports facilities

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In recent years, practicing sport has spread widely in developed countries and is now considered a public good to be financed by public administrations. In particular, sport can promote healthier communities, raise standards and economic vitality, and meet the need of children and young people. Public sports facilities are an important aspect of local government provision and a major contribution to these outcomes. Citizens demands for higher quality sports installations have also grown in recent years. Public financing for a variety of sports facilities and sporting events-regardless of whether they are professional or amateur-has increased as well. This is on account of the growing citizen demand and the important socio-economic benefits they can generate. Numerous studies have sought to analyze the possible socio-economic benefits of public actions both in funding sports facilities (Alexander et al., 2000; Santo, 2007; Siegfried & Zimbalist, 2000; Zimbalist & Siegfried, 2002) and in all types of sporting events (Baade et al., 2008; Barget & Gouguet, 2007). Results show that these benefits are not sufficient to compensate the volume of resources invested.

Of all the public administrations that provide services for citizens, local administrations merit special attention. These devote an important part of their resources to financing the development of sports among their citizens so as to improve the quality of their lives and to organizing large sporting events, so improving their infrastructures and boosting economic activity in the area. Noteworthy among measures aimed at increasing the practice of sports is the creation of the necessary sports facilities.

In addition, the scarcity of resources available to practically all public administrations on account of the crisis of recent years is notable. This has meant that administrations have needed to be managed even more efficiently with few resources, supposing an opportunity for further research.

The motivation for this study was prompted by the recent important increase of resources used by local governments on sports facilities; this shows the great importance citizens give to practicing sport and to promoting the organization of large sporting events in their area. Taking the work of García-Sánchez and Prado-Lorenzo (2010) as a reference, and given the important increase in the demand for this public service, this study aimed to relate the efficiency in provision of local sports facilities through a selection of exogeneous socio-economic variables. Considering the type of units to be analyzed, this paper could help to improve the service by using the resources available. …

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