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Are local public services better delivered in more autonomous regions? Evidence from European regions using a dose‐response approach

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  • Andrea Filippetti
  • Giovanni Cerulli

Abstract

Does regional autonomy lead to better local public services? We investigate this issue using measures of public service performance and autonomy at the region level in 171 European regions. We introduce a novel dose‐response approach which identifies the pattern of the effect of regional autonomy on the performance of public services. The relationship between the level of regional autonomy and the provision of local public services exhibits a u‐shape: both low and high autonomy lead to better local public services. This speaks against the presence of one optimal level of autonomy and policy recommendations based on the view that more decentralisation is always desirable. It shows that different institutional settings can be economically viable and efficient. ¿Conduce la autonomía regional a mejores servicios públicos locales? Este artículo investiga este tema utilizando medidas de desempeño y autonomía del servicio público a nivel regional en 171 regiones europeas. Se introduce un nuevo enfoque de dosis‐respuesta que identifica el patrón del efecto de la autonomía regional en el desempeño de los servicios públicos. La relación entre el nivel de autonomía regional y la prestación de servicios públicos locales presenta una forma de"u": tanto la baja como la alta autonomía conducen a mejores servicios públicos locales. Esto contradice la presencia de un nivel óptimo de autonomía y de recomendaciones políticas basadas en la opinión de que siempre es deseable una mayor descentralización. Se demuestra que diferentes marcos institucionales pueden ser económicamente viables y eficientes. 地域の自主性は、地域の公共サービスの改善を導くだろうか? 本稿では、ヨーロッパの171の地域における、地域レベルでの公共サービス実施と自主性を測定して、この問題を検討する。新しい用量反応アプローチを導入し、これにより公共サービスの実施に対する地域の自主性の効果のパターンを確認する。地域の自主性のレベルと地域の公共サービスの実施との関連性はU字型曲線を示し、自主性が高いレベルでも低いレベルでも、いずれも結果的に公共サービスは改善されている。これは、最適な自主性のレベルは一つであることや、自律分散を進めることが絶対的に好ましいという見方に基づいた政策勧告に異を唱えるものである。背景にある制度上の違いは、経済的に実行可能であり、効果的であることを示している。

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Filippetti & Giovanni Cerulli, 2018. "Are local public services better delivered in more autonomous regions? Evidence from European regions using a dose‐response approach," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(3), pages 801-826, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:presci:v:97:y:2018:i:3:p:801-826
    DOI: 10.1111/pirs.12283
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    2. Roberto Ganau & Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose, 2019. "Do high‐quality local institutions shape labour productivity in Western European manufacturing firms?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(4), pages 1633-1666, August.

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    JEL classification:

    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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