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Looking across borders: A test of spatial policy interdependence using local government efficiency ratings

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  • Geys, Benny

Abstract

Spatial patterns in (local) government taxation and spending decisions have received a lot of scholarly attention recently. Still, the focus on taxation or expenditure levels in previous studies is incomplete. In fact, (rational) individuals are likely to consider the level of spending on (or taxation for) public goods provision simultaneously with how much public goods they actually receive – thus assessing the ‘price/quantity’ of government policy (in relation to that of neighbouring jurisdictions) rather than concentrating on spending (or taxation) levels alone. Therefore, the present paper argues that incumbents may want their ‘price/quantity’ ratio to be close to that in neighbouring regions. Using Flemish local governments’ efficiency ratings for the year 2000 (which relate tax revenues to the quantity of locally provided public goods), we confirm the existence of such neighbourhood effects in local government policies. -- In jüngster Zeit hat sich die Wissenschaft vermehrt für die räumlichen Muster der lokalen Besteuerung und Ausgabenentscheidungen interessiert. Dabei hat man sich in neueren Studien jedoch hauptsächlich auf die Betrachtung von Besteuerung und Ausgabenhöhe konzentriert. Diese Betrachtungsweise greift zu kurz, denn der (rationale) Bürger betrachtet die Höhe der öffentlichen Ausgaben (oder die Steuern dafür) und vergleicht, wie viel öffentliche Güter er eigentlich dafür bekommt. Er beurteilt also eher das Preis/Mengen-Verhältnis der Lokalpolitik im Vergleich zu den benachbarten Kommunen, als sich allein auf die Höhe der Ausgaben oder der Besteuerung zu konzentrieren. Es lässt sich zeigen, dass Amtsinhaber ein Preis/Mengenverhältnis anstreben, das dem der benachbarten Kommunen ähnlich ist. Die Auswertung von Daten aus dem Jahr 2000, die die Effizienz flämischer Lokalpolitik anhand des Verhältnisses von Steuereinnahmen zu lokal bereitgestellten öffentlichen Gütern bemessen, bestätigt die Existenz solcher Nachbarsc

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 60 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 443-462

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:60:y:2006:i:3:p:443-462

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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