Book Review: Growing the Productivity of Government Services by Patrick Dunleavy and Leandro Carrera

In this book Patrick Dunleavy and Leandro Carrera ask why government productivity has been so neglected in the study of economics and public management. Chapters cover customs regulation, tax services, and the need to embrace digital change, and the book concludes with some clear and practical advice. Andrew Massey feels that the authors have delivered an original and innovative study, useful for public sector practitioners and […]

How to remake government for the digital age

A recent report by Sarah Fink and colleagues at Policy Exchange outlines how the power of technology, data and the internet can be harnessed to truly transform the way government operates and delivers public services. In this article, she summarises a series of recommendations made in the report around efficiency gains and digitising Whitehall, developing a total data approach to policymaking, and […]

November 5th, 2013|Sarah Fink|1 Comment|

Investing in services is not enough; raising incomes is vital to improve children’s outcomes

Conducting a systematic review of all the available empirical evidence, Kerris Cooper and Kitty Stewart found clear evidence that money itself does make a difference to children’s outcomes. Spending £1,000 on raising household incomes would have a similar impact on children’s schooling outcomes as spending £1,000 on schools. However, raising household income would impact many different outcomes at the same time. Income […]

Limit public service competition to non-profits

Limiting public sector work to organisations without private interests is a simple but effective solution to many policy problems, argues Colin Talbot. This could provide some (limited) competition while at the same time avoiding the downsides of private sector provision. The idea that competition is better than monopoly provision in public services is now established wisdom among the British political elite. Since […]

The new political class and the governance of the police in Britain

Using the governance of police as a case-study, Ron Amann argues that many aspects of the overall mode of political and managerial control in our society are disturbingly familiar with that of the Soviet Union. As a former student of centrally planned economies I have been astonished by the emergence during the last 25 years or so of a political and administrative […]

August 29th, 2013|Ronald Amann|2 Comments|

The Public Service Industry: A constitutional blasphemy and a democratic perversion

One third of current public spending on services, £80 billion, is channelled through private sector companies. Although they deliver services demanded and paid for by taxpayers, their employees are not ‘public servants’. They are not subject to the disciplines, procedures and expectations attached to government employees. Instead they are part of an industry growing in size, ambition and confidence – […]

The rationing of care: Valuing public services is not, and should never be, an exercise in accountancy

A recent BMJ study showed that reducing cost through shedding or not replacing frontline nursing staff impacts negatively on the quality and safety of care which, in turn, is detrimental to not only on patient outcomes but also on the financial costs of the health and social care system. Chih Hoong Sin argues that the NHS needs to adopt a whole-system and […]

The rise of a robot state? New frontiers for growing the productivity of government services

Conventional wisdom and most national statistics have long treated the productivity of the government services sector as entirely flat. Only a tiny literature considers what actually happened to productivity at the organizational level. Drawing on their pioneering book, Patrick Dunleavy and Leandro Carrera argue that we need to radically rethink our attitudes. We should begin adjusting to a public sector […]

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This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.