Print version ISSN 1517-4522
LUBAMBO, Cátia W.. Public management performance: which variables are included in approval ratings in small towns?. Sociologias [online]. 2006, n.16, pp. 86-125. ISSN 1517-4522. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-45222006000200005.
The analysis of public management carried out in this study focuses on explanatory elements associated to government performance in small towns. Differences found on public management performance in towns, defined according to some specific elements that we try to explain, reveal not only the variety of contexts and conditions but also the diversity of constraints that decentralization finds in local governments. In literature, some studies point out that structural elements such as government's tax performance would determine the higher or lower possibility for success of a given local government. Other works present elements directly associated to the level and nature of demands and the resulting form of local provision as being crucial for approval or not of the administration. Yet other studies suggest that investigations proceed in the perspective of effective political-institutional conditions of implementation of social policies at municipal level. In face of evidence of so many distinct elements that seem to be relevant for the performance of the municipal management, we ask: is there any correlation between the administration's attributes and its approval ratings? This work examines a universe of 75 towns of Northeastern Brazil, distributed over the states of Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, and Paraíba, during the 1993-1996 term. It discusses and elects the Approval Rating as the indicator of each administration's performance and it investigates the influence of specific factors, which allegedly explain such performance. After an analysis of "clusters", results of the study end up pointing out similarities and differences between groups of towns, with distinct levels of administration performance, stressing the prevalence of elements associated to the effective action of the administration as determinants for popular approval.
Keywords : government performance; public administration; approval ratings.