Developments in Local Government Finance: Theory and Policy

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Local communities in all countries are increasingly aware of resource scarcity and are pressing for more say in how public funds are used. Developments in Local Government Finance examines key issues for economists interested in local government and, in particular, the functioning of institutions at regional and local levels. Local government organization and finance is addressed from a variety of approaches by the authors who critically examine the current intergovernmental distribution of responsibility for service provision and revenue raising. Adopting a multilateral approach to theory and policy, this major book stresses the need for real, and not just formal, devolution and greater local accountability. The contributors highlight how instruments for financing local government and for pursuing interpersonal and geographical equity can vary considerably between countries with broadly similar systems, yet be surprisingly similar for countries with quite different institutional arrangements. Particular reference is made to emerging problems in the European Union and the experience of Switzerland, a country where fiscal federalism and tax harmonization are living together in a unique equilibrium of forces.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781858983776
  • Publisher: Elgar, Edward Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Pages: 333

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Contributors
In Memoriam: Werner W. Pommerehne
1 Who Uses Local Public Services? Need, Demand and Rationing in Action 3
2 On the Use of Statistical Techniques to Infer Territorial Spending Needs 24
3 Judgement and Analysis: Developing Indexes of Economic and Social Deprivation for Local Authority Financing 40
4 A Model of Optimum Local Authority Size 55
5 Impacts of Economic Change on a Local Business Tax Base: The Case of the French 'Taxe Professionnelle' 79
6 Local Public Spending in France: The Case of Welfare Programmes at the Departement Level 97
7 Local Authorities' Expenditure Behaviour in Italy and Regional Differences 115
8 The Short-Period Macroeconomic Incidence and Effects of State and Local Taxes 135
9 Changing Perceptions of the Role of Local Government with Particular Reference to the United Kingdom 159
10 Governance of Two National Health Services: Italy and the United Kingdom Compared 179
11 Local Autonomy and the European Union Structural Fund Transfers: The Special Case of Regional Policy 209
12 The Requirement of a Balanced Local Budget: Theory and Evidence from the Swiss Experience 228
13 The Political Economy of State and Local Tax Structure 253
14 European Integration and Local Government Finance 273
15 Tax Harmonization and Tax Competition at State-Local Levels: Lessons from Switzerland 292
Index 331
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