Wednesday, January 15, 2020

UIS Institute for Illinois Public Finance releases report on state government efficiency

A study released today by the University of Illinois Springfield’s Institute for Illinois Public Finance reports mixed results with respect to the efficiency of Illinois state government when compared to other states.

The study finds that Illinois state government is in a group of the most efficient states in three areas: higher education, environment and housing, and infrastructure. It is in the top 20 states for efficiency in welfare, and in the top half of states for public safety and health and hospitals efficiency.

However, the state ranks below average in efficiency in elementary and secondary education and near the bottom in transportation.

“The study is unique in that the measures of efficiency that are produced lead directly to recommendations for improving the efficiency of state government operations,” said Arwi Srithongrung Kriz, a UIS Institute for Illinois Public Finance research fellow who authored the study.

Recommendations in the study include increasing regional or centralized services shared by local school districts for the elementary and secondary education function and reducing capital project acquisition costs when it comes to transportation.

Srithongrung Kriz, an internationally recognized expert on efficiency measurement who holds a doctorate in public administration, developed measures of efficiency for eight functions of state government: higher education, elementary and secondary education, public welfare, health and hospitals, transportation, public safety, environment and housing and infrastructure.

She compares numerous measures of the things that government produces, such as the number of degrees awarded at public universities and the number of prisoners in correctional facilities with the costs of those services and the number of state employees in each function.

Srithongrung Kriz employed a methodology, which she says has been scientifically tested in many settings and is superior to measures used in previous analyses of state government efficiency.

The study is available in a longer working paper format that compares efficiency across all states and a shorter white paper version that focuses on Illinois state government.

For more information, contact Arwi Srithongrung Kriz at 217-206-8047 or asrit1@uis.edu.