Criteria for a Fair and Efficient Own Resources System

Part of the ZEW Economic Studies book series (ZEW, volume 40)

Both the evaluation of the own resource system’s status quo and the reform suggestions should be based on well-defined assessment criteria. The explicit formulation of such criteria is indeed a common feature of many contributions to the literature on the own resource system (European Commission, 1998, 2004a; Caesar, 1990; Cattoir, 2004; Begg & Grimwade, 1998; Walthes, 1996; Henke, 1997; Heinemann, 2003).

However, with regard to these criteria lists alone, caution is required. The manner in which assessment criteria are defined and (explicitly or implicitly) weighted predetermines analytical results. Hence, the definition of criteria is a degree of freedom to influence subsequent recommendations. This problem is aggravated by the fact that an ad hoc approach often characterises the foundation of criteria lists: Plausible and appealing dimensions for assessment benchmarks are formulated without paying too much attention to their link to well-established theories.

Obviously, a certain degree of subjectivity in the definition of criteria is unavoidable since their choice and specification is also influenced by assumptions and value judgements, for example, with regard to the role of the state in the economy, the future model of the European Union or the importance of budgetary restrictions for politicians and bureaucrats. Nevertheless, these assumptions should be explicated as far as possible.


Resource System Public Good Provision Fairness Perception Criterion List Budgetary System 
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© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg 2008

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