One Stop Shops for Public Services - Evidence from Citizen Service Centers in Brazil
Abstract: One Stop Shops for public services, or Citizen Service Centers, have been implemented in at least 70 countries. We evaluate the impact of such centers on a range of citizen related-variables: the time it takes to undertake a typical licensing errand, the physical displacements involved, how information is obtained, and other variables representing transaction costs, red tape and transparency in the citizen-state interaction. The questions are addressed through a novel data collection on one of the most common errands at the Brazilian bureaucracy, driver´s license renewal. We also evaluate if the quality of the socially relevant components of the licensing procedure is affected. Using a Difference-in-Differences methodology, the study evaluates a program that has inspired One Stop Shop reforms in several countries, developed- and developing. We find large reductions in the time expended by citizens and in proxies for transaction costs, suggesting the reform is a good idea, but less encouraging results for the socially relevant variables. We discuss the extent to which incentives to speed up may have prevailed where other steering instruments would be more appropriate, and potential remedies. Based on our data on actual citizen-state interactions, we also discuss limitations to establishing a true One Stop Shop.