The aim of this paper is to illustrate how a public roads authority charged with reviewing the performances of its agencies can determine the efficiency with which services are being rendered. Specifically, the authors show, within the framework of a deterministic nonparametric data-envelopment analysis (DEA), how the Norwegian Public Roads Administration is able to evaluate the performances of its rock-blasting agencies and target areas for improvement. A DEA model with variable returns to scale is applied to establish boundaries of the best practice. The study reveals significant variation in efficiency scores across units. The rock-blasting sector's input-saving potential is found to be in the range of 46 to 55 percent, while the output-increasing potential ranges from 89 to 150 percent. A significant correlation exists between size and efficiency scores, suggesting that larger units outperform smaller ones. Precautionary blasting, mainly conducted in densely populated areas, and unit costs per volume of rock blasted explain much of the variations in efficiency scores. Policy implications, therefore, should carefully examine exogenous factors.


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  • Accession Number: 00716492
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 22 1996 12:00AM