Equity or Efficiency? Explaining Public Officials' Values
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This article analyzes the positions of top public officials on an equity-efficiency trade-off and the determinants of those positions. It uses data from a survey across 14 European countries. The results show that differences in public officials' positions on equity-efficiency are related to the context in which they work and to their personal background. Officials at the top of the hierarchy and those with a business or economics education are more oriented toward efficiency. Additionally, results show important differences associated with country administrative culture, including a stronger equity orientation in Scandinavian countries, and a stronger efficiency orientation in Southern European countries. The positions of public officials reflect those held by citizens in their country, confirming the contextualized nature of administrative values. This article contributes to understanding the determinants of public officials' dominant values.
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