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What Works in Latin American Municipalities?

Assessing Local Government Performance

9781803929064 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Claudia N. Avellaneda, O’ Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, US
Publication Date: February 2023 ISBN: 978 1 80392 906 4 Extent: c 160 pp
This incisive book presents a critical compilation of empirical studies assessing local government performance in Latin America. Analysing original administrative data from municipalities in the understudied countries of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru, Claudia N. Avellaneda and contributors pose the titular question: what works in Latin American municipalities?

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This incisive book presents a critical compilation of empirical studies assessing local government performance in Latin America. Analysing original administrative data from municipalities in the understudied countries of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru, Claudia N. Avellaneda and contributors pose the titular question: what works in Latin American municipalities?

Chapters operationalize municipal performance across six different dimensions and policy areas, including fiscal inputs, effectiveness in grant acquisitions, education outcome quality, financial efficiency, participatory decision-making, and responsiveness to climate change. The six studies test different theoretical frameworks derived from political science, public policy, and public administration literature, focusing on the variety of individual, organizational, and contextual factors affecting municipal performance across the region. Examining a diverse range of factors, from mayoral characteristics and bureaucratic expertise to guerrilla presence and intergovernmental cooperation, the book highlights the complexity of identifying what works in Latin American municipalities and ultimately makes the case for how future research should be undertaken.

Timely and original, the book will be an essential read for public administration, public management, and local government practitioners. Its original empirical research will also prove beneficial to students and scholars of government, public policy, political science, and public administration across Latin America and the rest of the world.
Critical Acclaim
‘Claudia Avellaneda brings together a line-up of skilled authors at the forefront of Latin American public administration to craft a critical overview of the performance of municipalities. The volume examines long-standing concerns about human capital, bureaucratic quality, decision-making, environmental shocks and governmental effectiveness to provide cutting edge knowledge on this understudied region.’
– Richard M. Walker, City University of Hong Kong

‘The performance of local public services is an issue at the top of the policy agenda across the world. This superb collection presents cutting-edge empirical research casting much-needed light on what works for improving local government performance in Latin America, offering numerous valuable lessons for researchers and policy-makers everywhere.’
– Rhys Andrews, Cardiff University, UK
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