Improving Efficiency through Consolidation of Jurisdictions? Evidence from the Cantons of Switzerland


  • Philippe K. Widmer Institut für Volkswirtschaft, Universität Zürich, Blümlisalpstraße 10, 8006, Zürich, Schweiz
  • George Elias Polynomics AG, Baslerstraße 44, 4600, Olten, Schweiz
  • Peter Zweifel Institut für Volkswirtschaft, Universität Zürich, Blümlisalpstraße 10, 8006, Zürich, Schweiz



Data Envelopment Analysis, Efficiency measurement, Economies of scale, Public good provision, Switzerland


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the optimal scale of local jurisdictions (cantons) in Switzerland applying Data Envelopment Analysis to the years 2000–2004. Aggregate output performance indicators for four local government activities (administration, education, health, and transportation) are used to measure technical and scale efficiency and to derive Data Envelopment Analysis scores. Results show that these public services fail to exhibit economies of scale, undermining quests for centralization of public good provision while suggesting the possibility of Tiebout competition.


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Research Article

How to Cite

Widmer PK, Elias G, Zweifel P. Improving Efficiency through Consolidation of Jurisdictions? Evidence from the Cantons of Switzerland. RuR [Internet]. 2013 Aug. 31 [cited 2024 Jul. 15];71(4):295–305. Available from: