Academic journal article Baltic Journal of Economics

The Relationship between Governance and Performance in Water Services Provision in Estonian Municipalities

Academic journal article Baltic Journal of Economics

The Relationship between Governance and Performance in Water Services Provision in Estonian Municipalities

Article excerpt

Performance improvement in public services is recognised as a goal for many governments, and has resulted in a variety of public governance reform initiatives. Nevertheless, current knowledge about how governance arrangements influence the performance of public services is scarce and fragmented. The present dissertation aims to provide an in-depth understanding of how local governments set up and use governance mechanisms for public services provision and how the different governance patterns determine financial and non-financial performance in public services. This study seeks to contribute to the scientific debate on governance-performance relationships through research conducted in the Estonian water sector.

The first part of the empirical research comprises a quantitative analysis of the influence of ownership on the technical efficiency of Estonian water companies. The analysis reveals that none of the given ownership forms (public, private, mixed public-private) can be associated with greater or lower efficiency levels. The second part of the empirical research - a comparative case study research - shows that the observed ownership structures had a different influence on the financial and non-financial performance of the water companies, which depending on the governance mechanisms applied could be either negative or positive. …

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