Performance Rating and Yardstick Competition in Social Service Provision

35 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2004

Date Written: September 2004


This paper investigates whether national evaluation of decentralised government performance tends, by lessening local information spill-overs, to reduce the scope for local performance comparisons and consequently to lower the extent of spatial auto-correlation among local government expenditures. It analyses UK local government expenditures on personal social services before and after the introduction of a national performance assessment system (SSPR, Social Services Performance Rating) that would attribute a rating to each local authority. The empirical evidence suggests that the introduction of the SSPR has substantially reduced policy mimicking among neighboring jurisdictions.

Keywords: social services, welfare competition, information spill-overs, spatial autocorrelation

JEL Classification: C21, H72, H77

Suggested Citation

Revelli, Federico, Performance Rating and Yardstick Competition in Social Service Provision (September 2004). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1270, Available at SSRN:

Federico Revelli (Contact Author)

University of Turin ( email )

Via Po 53
Facolta di Scienze Politiche
10124 Torino

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