Local Government Efficiency in Western Australia

The State government of Western Australia is currently working through a significant program of local government reform that has as a core objective a reduction in the number of local councils. The perception that there are economies of scale in service delivery is a key reason behind the State government’s desire to see a reduction in the number of councils in Western Australia. The following article uses the technique of Data Envelopment Analysis to measure the technical and scale efficiency of councils in Western Australia. The average pure technical efficiency score for Western Australian councils was found to be 83 per cent, and the average scale efficiency score was found to be 94 per cent. This suggests that pure scale effects are not a major source of inefficiency. Detailed returns to scale analysis for the 73 councils where complete data was available revealed that 17 councils were operating at the optimal scale, 26 were operating below the optimal scale, and 30 were operating above the optimal scale.

Issue Date:
Oct 26 2011
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
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Series Statement:
Working Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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