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The impact of central places on spatial spending patterns: evidence from Flemish local government cultural expenditures

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  • Werck, Kristien
  • Heyndels, Bruno
  • Geys, Benny

Abstract

Governments often see it as their responsibility to support cultural life and at times spend a significant amount of resources in the pursuit of this goal. The present paper analyses whether and how municipalities influence each other in this decision to spend resources on the arts (using data on local government cultural spending in 304 Flemish municipalities in 2002). Following ‘central place theory’, the focal point of the analysis is the idea that – especially for cultural expenditures – large municipalities (and, specifically, ‘central places’) may affect their neighbours’ behaviour differently than small municipalities. The empirical analysis is supportive of this idea. Indeed, we show that Flemish municipalities’ cultural spending is generally positively affected by that in neighbouring municipalities. This pattern is, however, significantly more complex for municipalities neighbouring the 13 largest Flemish cities. -- Regierungen sehen sich gemeinhin in der Verantwortung, für die Unterstützung des kulturellen Lebens zu sorgen und wenden hierfür erhebliche Ressourcen auf. Im vorliegenden Artikel wird analysiert, ob und wie sich Gemeinden gegenseitig bei der Entscheidung für Ressourcenaufwendungen im Bereich Kunst und Kultur beeinflussen. Diese Analyse beruht auf Daten über Ausgaben im Kulturbereich von 304 flämischen Gemeinden im Jahr 2002. Der „central place“-Theorie folgend liegt der Schwerpunkt der Analyse auf der Idee, dass gerade im kulturellen Bereich der Einfluss großer Gemeinden (und insbesondere von „zentralen Orten“) auf die Entscheidung der Nachbargemeinden ein anderer ist, als der Einfluss kleinerer Gemeinden. Die empirische Analyse stützt diesen Ansatz. In der Tat lässt sich zeigen, dass die Ausgaben im Kulturbereich flämischer Gemeinden positiv durch die Ausgaben ihrer Nachbargemeinden beeinflusst werden. Für die Nachbargemeinden der 13 größten flämischen Städte ist dieses Muster jedoch erheblich komplexer.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number SP II 2007-10.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200710

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Keywords: Central places; cultural policy; Flemish municipalities; local government expenditures; spatial interdependence; asymmetric response;

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Cited by:
  1. Witte, Kristof De & Geys, Benny, 2011. "Evaluating efficient public good provision: Theory and evidence from a generalised conditional efficiency model for public libraries," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 319-327, May.
  2. Lars Håkonsen & Knut Løyland, 2013. "Local government allocation of cultural services," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-06-2013, the Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Oct 2013.
  3. Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Public Expenditures on Education and Cultural Affairs in the West German States: Does Government Ideology Influence the Budget Composition?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 124-145, 02.
  4. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Evidence on the Political Principal-Agent Problem from Voting on Public Finance for Concert Halls," CESifo Working Paper Series 4306, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Chiara Dalle Nogare & Matteo Galizzi, 2011. "The political economy of cultural spending: evidence from Italian cities," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 203-231, August.
  6. Lenka Šťastná, 2009. "Spatial Interdependence of Local Public Expenditures: Selected Evidence from the Czech Republic," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 3(1), pages 007-025, March.
  7. Geys, Benny & Konrad, Kai A., 2010. "Federalism and optimal allocation across levels of governance," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2010-09, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  8. Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2008. "Party cues and yardstick voting," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2008-05, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  9. Geys Benny & Revelli Federico, 2009. "Decentralization, competition and the local tax mix: Evidence from Flanders," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200902, University of Turin.
  10. Bernardino Benito & Francisco Bastida & Cristina Vicente, 2013. "Municipal elections and cultural expenditure," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 3-32, February.
  11. De Witte, Kristof & Geys, Benny, 2012. "Citizen coproduction and efficient public good provision: Theory and evidence from local public libraries," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-108, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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