Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Sciences



First Advisor

Prof. VOON Jan Piaw Thomas

Second Advisor

Prof. Hong Fuhai


The thesis consists of three papers. The first paper examines the effect of contracting out on the quality of road maintenance services using panel data. Selection bias has been controlled by accounting for the year, region, and topography. The results reveal a positive effect of contracting out on the quality of road maintenance. The findings are robust to alternative model specifications including transformations of some control variables and heterogeneous analyses based on the road length and the residential status. We propose training and providing contractors with incentives to impact the state of roads positively. The second paper considers that politics is a major determining efficiency factor for transport-related public service. While prior studies have investigated the impacts of various factors such as the ideological stance, there is a paucity of empirical studies on the effects of re-election success, party fragmentation, and the formation of new electoral consistency on road maintenance efficiency. This paper employs a multilevel approach embodying extensive Ugandan data sources to mitigate a reverse causality bias inherent in the literature review. Our empirical results show that (a) the higher the re-election success, the lower the road service efficiency, (b) the higher the party fragmentation (or the higher the party dominance), the higher the road service efficiency, and (c) the higher the constituency (as in the formation of a new constituency), the higher the road service efficiency. Local governments whose political representatives were re-elected gives rise to lower road maintenance efficiency. Where there is party dominance, higher road maintenance efficiency is reported. Local governments with new electoral constituencies report higher road maintenance efficiency. Our results imply that a shorter term of candidacy is propitious to road maintenance and possibly other public service efficiencies. The third paper shows that coproduction between citizen and service providers can be used to mitigate potential inefficiency and budget allocation problems in public service delivery. There is a paucity of quantitative studies on coproduction in how it relates to road maintenance delivery. Using the Afro-barometer wave-6 dataset on Uganda, we develop appropriate coproduction indexes from the survey items pertaining to citizens' road maintenance service participations. The relationship between coproduction as the explanatory variable and road maintenance performance as the dependent variable is explored first using the ordinal logit estimation regression. Our results reveal a significantly positive correlation between coproduction and public road maintenance performance. An instrumental variable is used to alleviate the potential endogenous influences or reverse causality problem that might arise. Our results are also robust to alternative specifications using district-level performance measures, structural equation modelling as well as generalized linear latent and mixed models. Our analysis stresses the practical importance of the cooperation between the service provider and the community in improving individual and social performances emanating from road maintenance service delivery



Recommended Citation

Katunze, M. N. (2021). How do contracting, co-production and politics affect road maintenance efficiency: The case of Uganda (Doctoral thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from

Included in

Economics Commons