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Political Control of Administrative Spending: The Case of Local Governments in Norway

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  • Jorid Kalseth
  • Jørn Rattsø

Abstract

Excessive administrative spending in local governments has been a concern in the public debate in Norway. Administration takes resources away from welfare services such as primary education and care for the elderly. Since administrative spending varies considerably between local governments, a study of the political and economic factors involved is warranted. The central hypothesis is that the administrators will have more power relative to the politicians when political control is divided between parties. Estimation of a demand model of administration added political structure shows strong empirical correlations between types of coalition governments and socialist controlled governments and the level of administrative spending. Divided political control strengthens the hands of the agenda setting bureaucrats. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1998.

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  • Jorid Kalseth & Jørn Rattsø, 1998. "Political Control of Administrative Spending: The Case of Local Governments in Norway," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 63-83, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:10:y:1998:i:1:p:63-83
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Borge, Lars-Erik, 2000. "Charging for public services: the case of utilities in Norwegian local governments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 703-718, December.
    2. Geys, Benny & Heinemann, Friedrich & Kalb, Alexander, 2010. "Voter involvement, fiscal autonomy and public sector efficiency: Evidence from German municipalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 265-278, June.
    3. Lars-Erik Borge & Linn Renée Naper, 2006. "Efficiency Potential and Efficiency Variation in Norwegian Lower Secondary Schools," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(2), pages 221-249, June.
    4. Carlsen, Fredrik & Langset, Bjorg & Rattso, Jorn, 2005. "The relationship between firm mobility and tax level: Empirical evidence of fiscal competition between local governments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 273-288, September.
    5. Lars-Erik Borge & Torberg Falch & Per Tovmo, 2008. "Public sector efficiency: the roles of political and budgetary institutions, fiscal capacity, and democratic participation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(3), pages 475-495, September.
    6. Federico Revelli, 2010. "Spend more, get more? An inquiry into English local government performance," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 185-207, January.
    7. Dahlberg, Matz & Mörk, Eva, 2004. "Public employment and the double role of bureaucrats," Working Paper Series 2004:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    8. Dahlberg, Matz & Lundqvist, Heléne & Mörk, Eva, 2008. "Intergovernmental grants and bureaucratic power," Working Paper Series 2008:17, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    9. Falch, Torberg & Rattso, Jorn, 1999. "Local public choice of school spending: disaggregating the demand function for educational services," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 361-373, June.
    10. Torberg Falch & Bjarne Strøm, 2003. "Wage Bargaining and Political Strength in the Public Sector," Working Paper Series 3203, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    11. Christian Bruns & Oliver Himmler, 2011. "Newspaper Circulation and Local Government Efficiency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113, pages 470-492, June.
    12. Geys, Benny & Moesen, Wim, 2008. "Measuring local government technical (in)efficiency: An application and comparison of FDH, DEA and econometric approaches," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2008-21, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    13. Lars-Erik Borge & Marianne Haraldsvik, 2009. "Efficiency potential and determinants of efficiency: An analysis of the care of elderly sector in Norway," Working Paper Series 10109, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    14. John Ashworth & Benny Geys & Bruno Heyndels, 2005. "Government Weakness and Local Public Debt Development in Flemish Municipalities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(4), pages 395-422, August.
    15. Per Tovmo, 2007. "Budgetary Procedures and Deficits in Norwegian Local Governments," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 37-49, January.
    16. Borge, Lars-Erik & Rattsø, Jørn, 2008. "Property taxation as incentive for cost control: Empirical evidence for utility services in Norway," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1035-1054, August.
    17. Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2003. "The Relationships Between Costs and User Charges: The Case of a Norwegian Utility Service," CESifo Working Paper Series 1033, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Jon Fiva & Jørn Rattsø, 2007. "Local choice of property taxation: evidence from Norway," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 457-470, September.
    19. Revelli Federico & Tovmo Per, 2006. "Declared vs. revealed yardstick competition:Local government efficiency in Norway," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200605, University of Turin.
    20. Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, 2015. "Political determinants of municipal accounts: Quasi-experimental evidence from Portugal," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 238, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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