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The Challenge of Local Government Size

Theoretical Perspectives, International Experience and Policy Reform Edited by Santiago Lago-Peñas, Professor of Applied Economics, University of Vigo, Spain and Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, Regents Professor of Economics and Director, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, US
Expert contributors in economics and political science offer a comprehensive breakdown of the issue of local jurisdiction fragmentation and provide recommendations for successful policy reform. Topics discussed include economies of scale, the costs and benefits of voluntary and forced amalgamation programs, the correlation between government size and corruption, privatization, and inter-municipal cooperation. A combination of theory and empirical evidence provides depth and makes this book an invaluable addition to the literature.
Extent: 304 pp
Hardback Price: $146.00 Web: $131.40
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978 1 78254 429 6
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Public Sector Economics
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Policy
In the efficient delivery of local public services, size matters. Many countries around the world have vertical government structures that are perceived as inefficient because of their high levels of jurisdictional fragmentation. This timely volume examines the different strategies used to address local government fragmentation and their observed results and consequences.

Expert contributors in economics and political science offer a comprehensive breakdown of the issue of local jurisdiction fragmentation and provide recommendations for successful policy reform. Topics discussed include economies of scale, the costs and benefits of voluntary and forced amalgamation programs, the correlation between government size and corruption, privatization, and inter-municipal cooperation. A combination of theory and empirical evidence provides depth and makes this book an invaluable addition to the literature.

Economists, public administrators and political scientists will find much of interest in this innovative volume, as will professors, students and international institutions with an interest in local government structure and reform.
‘This set of essays does a remarkably good job of revisiting the question of local government size. The editors (Lago-Penas and Martinez-Vazquez) have cast the net broadly with an interesting update on thinking about how the question of city size fits into the contemporary literature of fiscal federalism. . . This is a reference book that will have a place on the shelf of those who study fiscal federalism. . . This is a reference book that will have a place on the shelf of those who study fiscal federalism.’
– Roy Bahl, Oxford Journals
Contributors: R. Andrews, G. Bel, N. Charron, B. Dafflon, L. de Mello, B. Dollery, J. Fernández-Albertos, N. Fiorino, E. Galli, J.L. Gómez-Reino, B. Grant, M. Kortt, S. Lago-Peñas, V. Lapuente, J. Martinez-Vazquez, M.A. Nelson, F. Padovano, M.E. Warner
Contents:

1. Introduction to the Volume
Santiago Lago-Peñas and Jorge Martinez-Vazquez

2. An International Perspective on the Determinants of Local Government Fragmentation
Juan Luis Gómez-Reino and Jorge Martinez-Vazquez

3. Small is Different: Size, Political Representation and Governance
Nicholas Charron, José Fernández-Albertos and Victor Lapuente

4. Corruption and the Size of Local Governments: Are they Related?
Michael A. Nelson

5. Do Fiscal Decentralization and Government Fragmentation Affect Corruption in Different Ways? Evidence from a Panel Data Analysis
Nadia Fiorino, Emma Galli and Fabio Padovano

6. Local Government Size and Efficiency in Capital-Intensive Services: What Evidence is there of Economies of Scale, Density and Scope?
Germà Bel

7. Local Government Size and Efficiency in Labor-Intensive Public Services: Evidence from Local Educational Authorities in England
Rhys Andrews

8. Voluntary Amalgamation of Local Governments: The Swiss Debate in the European Context
Bernard Dafflon

9. Local Government Cooperation for Joint Provision: The Experiences of Brazil and Spain with Inter-Municipal Consortia
Luiz de Mello and Santiago Lago-Peñas

10. Options for Rationalizing Local Government Structure: A Policy Agenda
Brian Dollery, Michael Kortt and Bligh Grant

11. Does Local Government Size Matter? Privatization and Hybrid Systems of Local Service Delivery
Mildred E. Warner

Index