The Determinants of Variations in Local Service Contracting: Garbage in, Garbage out?

George A. Boyne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Empirical evidence on the determinants of variations in service contracting across U.S. local governments is evaluated. Four main categories of explanatory variables are analyzed: fiscal stress, scale and market structure, public preferences, and the power of public employees. The evidence contains fundamental deficiencies that include poor measures of the theoretical constructs, reciprocal relationships between contracting out and the explanatory variables, and additive tests of mediative theories. The consequence is that the determinants of service contracting remain largely undetected. Furthermore, the empirical studies add very little to the existing body of knowledge on the reasons for policy variations across local governments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-163
Number of pages14
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998

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