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Does Urban Sprawl Increase the Costs of Providing Local Public Services? Evidence from Spanish Municipalities

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  • Miriam Hortas-Rico

    (Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB) and the Universitat Complutense de Madrid, Campus de Somosaguas, Madrid, 28223, Spain, miriamhortas@ccee.ucm.es)

  • Albert Solé-Ollé

    (Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB), and the Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 690, Barcelona, 43400, Spain, asole@ub.edu)

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of urban sprawl, a phenomenon of particular interest in Spain, which is currently experiencing this process of rapid, low-density urban expansion. Many adverse consequences are attributed to urban sprawl (such as traffic congestion, air pollution and social segregation), although this paper is concerned primarily with the rising costs of providing local public services. The initial aim is to develop an accurate measure of urban sprawl so that its impact on municipal budgets can be tested empirically. Then, an empirical analysis is undertaken using a cross-sectional dataset of 2500 Spanish municipalities for the year 2003 and a piece-wise linear function to account for the potentially non-linear relationship between sprawl and local costs. The estimations derived from the expenditure equations for both aggregate and six disaggregated spending categories indicate that low-density development patterns lead to greater provision costs of local public services.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Urban Studies Journal Limited in its journal Urban Studies.

Volume (Year): 47 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (June)
Pages: 1513-1540

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Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:47:y:2010:i:7:p:1513-1540

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Web page: http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/urbanstudiesjournal

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  1. John I. Carruthers, 2002. "Fragmentation and Sprawl: Evidence from Interregional Analysis," Growth and Change, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, vol. 33(3), pages 312-340.
  2. Song, Yan & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Property Tax and Urban Sprawl: Theory and Implications for U.S. Cities," Working Paper Series 648, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Albert Solé Ollé, 2005. "Expenditure spillovers and fiscal interactions: Empirical evidence from local governments in Spain," Working Papers 2005/3, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  5. Ladd, Helen F., 1994. "Fiscal impacts of local population growth: A conceptual and empirical analysis," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 661-686, December.
  6. Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2006. "Causes of Sprawl: A Portrait from Space," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 587-633, May.
  7. Bruce Katz, 2002. "Smart Growth: The Future of the American Metropolis?," CASE Papers case58, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 9733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Brueckner, Jan K & Kim, Hyun-A, 2003. "Urban Sprawl and the Property Tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 5-23, January.
  10. Mariam Camarero & Josep Lluis Carrion Silvestre & Cecilio Tamarit, 2006. "New evidence of the real interest rate parity for OECD countries using panel unit root tests with breaks," Working Papers in Economics 159, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  11. Matthew E. Kahn, 2000. "The environmental impact of suburbanization," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 569-586.
  12. Thomas J. Nechyba & Randall P. Walsh, 2004. "Urban Sprawl," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 177-200, Fall.
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Cited by:
  1. Jordi Jofre-Monseny, 2010. "Is agglomeration taxable?," Working Papers 2010/15, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  2. Maria Teresa Balaguer-Coll & Diego Prior & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2013. "On the determinants of local government debt: Does one size fit all?," Working Papers 2013/16, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
  3. Wu, JunJie, 2014. "Public open-space conservation under a budget constraint," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 96-101.
  4. Anna Castañer & Mª Mercè Claramunt, 2014. "Optimal stop-loss reinsurance: a dependence analysis," Working Papers XREAP2014-04, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Apr 2014.
  5. Laura Fregolent & Stefania Tonin, 2011. "The cost of sprawl: an Italian case study," ERSA conference papers ersa10p534, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Katarzyna Kopczewska, 2013. "The spatial range of local governments: does geographical distance affect governance and public service?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 793-810, December.
  7. Miriam Hortas-Rico, 2010. "Urban sprawl and municipal budgets in Spain: a dynamic panel data analysis," Working Papers 2010/43, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  8. Germà Bel, 2012. "Local Government Size and Efficiency in Capital Intensive Services: What Evidence is There of Economies of Scale, Density and Scope?," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1215, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  9. Gordon Mulligan & Mark Partridge & John Carruthers, 2012. "Central place theory and its reemergence in regional science," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 405-431, April.
  10. Antonio Manresa & Ferran Sancho, 2012. "Leontief versus Ghosh: two faces of the same coin," Working Papers XREAP2012-18, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Oct 2012.
  11. Reid Ewing & Harry W. Richardson & Keith Bartholomew & Arthur C. Nelson & Chang-Hee Christine Bae, 2014. "Compactness vs. Sprawl Revisited: Converging Views," CESifo Working Paper Series 4571, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Emili Tortosa Ausina & Diego Prior Jiménez & María Teresa Balaguer-Coll, 2010. "Output complexity, environmental conditions, and the efficiency of municipalities: a robust metafrontier approach," Working Papers. Serie EC 2010-02, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).

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