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Municipally Owned Enterprises as Danger Zones for Corruption? How Politicians Having Feet in Two Camps May Undermine Conditions for Accountability

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Anders Gustafsson, Andreas Bergh, Bolagsstyrning, Emanuel Wittberg, Företagandets villkor, Gissur Ó. Erlingsson, IFN, Jönköping International Business School, Kommun, Linköpings universitet, Nationalekonomi, Politisk ekonomi, Statsvetenskap

Abstract

The market-inspired reforms of New Public Management have been particularly pronounced in Swedish local government. Notably, municipally owned enterprises (MOEs) have rapidly grown in numbers. Principal-agent theory gives rise to the hypothesis that the massive introduction of MOEs has impacted negatively on the conditions for accountability in Swedish local government. To study this, social network analysis was employed in mapping networks for 223 MOEs in 11 strategically chosen municipalities, covering a total of 732 politicians. The analysis reveals substantial overlaps between principals (representatives of the ultimate stakeholders, citizens) and agents (the boards of the MOEs). Hence, corporatization of public services seems to imply worrisome entanglements between the politicians who are set to steer, govern, and oversee MOEs on the one hand, and the board members of MOEs on the other. The increasing numbers of MOEs may therefore have adverse effects on accountability in important and growing parts of Swedish local government.

Bergh, A., Erlingsson, G., Gustafsson, A. & Wittberg, E. (2019). Municipally Owned Enterprises as Danger Zones for Corruption? How Politicians Having Feet in Two Camps May Undermine Conditions for Accountability. Public Integrity. DOI: 10.1080/10999922.2018.1522182

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Municipally Owned Enterprises as Danger Zones for Corruption? How Politicians Having Feet in Two Camps May Undermine Conditions for Accountability
Artikel (med peer review)Publication
Bergh, A., Erlingsson, G., Gustafsson, A. & Wittberg, E.
Publication year

2019

Published in
Abstract

The market-inspired reforms of New Public Management have been particularly pronounced in Swedish local government. Notably, municipally owned enterprises (MOEs) have rapidly grown in numbers. Principal-agent theory gives rise to the hypothesis that the massive introduction of MOEs has impacted negatively on the conditions for accountability in Swedish local government. To study this, social network analysis was employed in mapping networks for 223 MOEs in 11 strategically chosen municipalities, covering a total of 732 politicians. The analysis reveals substantial overlaps between principals (representatives of the ultimate stakeholders, citizens) and agents (the boards of the MOEs). Hence, corporatization of public services seems to imply worrisome entanglements between the politicians who are set to steer, govern, and oversee MOEs on the one hand, and the board members of MOEs on the other. The increasing numbers of MOEs may therefore have adverse effects on accountability in important and growing parts of Swedish local government.

Recruitment of scarce competences to rural regions: Policy perspectives
Article (with peer review)Publication
Nyström, K.
Publication year

2021

Published in

Review of regional research.

Abstract

This paper studies the perceived difficulty of recruiting scarce competencies to rural regions. Furthermore, the role of policy in facilitating and enhancing recruitment to and better skills matching in rural regions is discussed. Based on a survey targeted to the business sections of Swedish municipalities, the results show that recruitment is perceived to be difficult in both rural and nonrural regions and that the difficulty of recruiting for the right skills results in a lack of skills matching and constitutes an obstacle to growth. Rural regions located close to urban areas can to some extent mitigate these recruitment problems, and their locations pose less of a barrier in recruitment processes compared to those of remotely located rural regions.

Which policies can help remedy recruitment problems faced in rural regions? In both rural and nonrural regions, incentives for writing off student debt and relocation support for accompanying persons and tandem recruitment are perceived to be the most promising policies. Rural regions are more receptive to the implementation of such policies. Finally, the need for flexibility and policies that can be adapted to the regional demand for labour are stressed.

Nyström, K. Recruitment of scarce competences to rural regions: Policy perspectives. Rev Reg Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10037-021-00155-

The Effect of Marshallian and Jacobian Knowledge Spillovers on Jobs in the Solar, Wind and Energy Efficiency Sector
Article (with peer review)Publication
Aldieri, L., Grafström, J., & Vinci, C. P.
Publication year

2021

Published in

Energies, 14(14), 4269.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to establish if Marshallian and Jacobian knowledge spillovers affect job creation in the green energy sector. Whether these two effects exist is important for the number of jobs created in related fields and jobs pushed away in other sectors. In the analysis, the production efficiency, in terms of jobs and job spillovers, from inventions in solar, wind and energy efficiency, is explored through data envelopment analysis (DEA), based on the Malmquist productivity index, and tobit regression. A panel dataset of American and European firms over the period of 2002–2017 is used. The contribution to the literature is to show the role of the spillovers from the same technology sector (Marshallian externalities), and of the spillovers from more diversified activity (Jacobian externalities). Since previous empirical evidence concerning the innovation effects on the production efficiency is yet weak, the paper attempts to bridge this gap. The empirical findings suggest negative Marshallian externalities, while Jacobian externalities have no statistical impact on the job creation process. The findings are of strategic importance for governments who are developing industrial strategies for renewable energy.

Aldieri, L., Grafström, J., & Vinci, C. P. (2021). The Effect of Marshallian and Jacobian Knowledge Spillovers on Jobs in the Solar, Wind and Energy Efficiency Sector. Energies, 14(14), 4269.

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