Voters’ Information, Corruption, and the Efficiency of Local Public Services
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This paper explores the link between voters’ information, corruption, and efficiency in the context of a career concern model, where politically connected local monopolies are in charge of the provision of a local public service. We find that both a corrupt environment and a low level of voters’ information on managerial actions induce managers to reduce effort levels, thereby contributing to drive down efficiency. We test our predictions using data on solid waste management services provided by a large sample of Italian municipalities. We estimate a stochastic cost frontier model that provides robust evidence that services produced in more corrupted regions with low voters’ information are substantially less cost-efficient.