Author ORCID Identifier

Roy Bahl:

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



This essay is an overview of the problems and possibilities in measuring municipal output, with special emphasis on productivity. The following section explores the nature of public productivity and management issues in the setting of the current fiscal crisis. Attention is then directed to an examination of contemporary fiscal theory in an attempt to identify the conceptual issues that are relevant to public output and its measurement. The third section sets forth a framework for systematic thinking about output measurement. The final section reports on the effors that economists and other social scientists have employed in their examination of the determinates of public sector output.


Originally published in Bahl, Roy W. and Jesse Burkhead. "Productivity and the Measurement of Public Output" in Managing Human Resources: A Challenge to Urban Government, edited by Charles H. Levine, Urban Affairs Annual Reviews, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1977: 253-269.

(c) Sage. Posted by permission.

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