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Growing the Productivity of Government Services


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Speaker(s): Leandro Carrera, Professor Patrick Dunleavy, Joe Grice, Edwin Lau, Barry Quirk
Chair: Diane Coyle

Recorded on 28 February 2013 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House.

For many decades there has been little effective analysis and guidance on how to improve the organizational productivity of government bodies consistently over time. Yet unless this can be achieved, the relative price of public services is doomed to rise ineluctably (the 'Baumol disease' problem).

Leandro Carrera and Patrick Dunleavy's new book Growing the Productivity of Government Services (published by Edward Elgar) provides the first in-depth empirical treatment of the organizational productivity of unique national government agencies, focusing on UK taxation, social security and regulatory agencies. In addition, they also show how productivity analysis for decentralized services can include salient and managerially useful variables, looking at how IT and management modernization help shape the productivity of NHS hospitals. The first rule of productivity growth in public services is to focus hard on consistently measuring and improving productivity performance. The second rule is to embrace IT modernization carried out in tandem with genuinely effective and well-considered business process reorganization.

This lecture will discuss ideas for the improvement of public sector productivity from a local, national and international government perspective.

Leandro Carrera is a senior researcher at the Pensions Policy Institute.

Patrick Dunleavy is professor of political science and public policy at LSE.

Joe Grice is chief economist at the Office for National Statistics.

Edwin Lau is head of the Reform of the Public Sector Division in the OECD Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate.

Barry Quirk is chief executive at the London Borough of Lewisham.

Diane Coyle OBE is a freelance economist, and is a member of the UK Competition Commission and Vice Chairman of the BBC Trust. Previously she was an advisor to the UK Treasury and the Economics Editor of the Independent.

LSE Public Policy Group (PPG) is an independent consultancy and research organisation.

PPG provides thorough analysis and recommendations for a variety of clients; providing an interface between academia, the private, public and 'third' sector.

LSE Works is a series of public lectures, that will showcase some of the latest research by LSE's Research Centres. In each session, LSE academics will present key research findings, demonstrating where appropriate the implications of their studies for public policy. A list of all the LSE Works lectures can be viewed online.

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