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Information technology, efficiency and productivity: evidence from Korean local governments

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This study evaluates the performance of Korean local government by measuring their technical efficiency (TE) and total factor productivity (TFP) growth and, more importantly, examining the impact of information technology (IT) on this performance. The study is different from received analysis in that a unique measure of the state of IT-the Informatization Index-is used to investigate the impact of IT on both TE and TFP growth. Empirical analyses are conducted on data from 222 Korean local governments for the period 1999 to 2001. In particular, data envelopment analysis techniques are applied to calculate TE scores and TFP growth rates for sampled local governments. The empirical findings confirm the positive impact IT has in improving technical efficiency and accelerating productivity growth. The estimated coefficients are correctly signed (with other regional characteristics controlled for) when TE scores and TFP growth rates are regressed on the Index. In addition, the findings indicate that economies of density are present in the production of local public services.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Economics, University of Seoul, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-743, Korea

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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