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The range of local public services and population size: Is there a “zoo effect” in French jurisdictions?

  • Quentin Frère
  • Hakim Hammadou
  • Sonia Paty

This article contributes to the small literature on the relationship between the range of local public services and population size. Using new data on French local jurisdictions, we test the hypothesis that larger jurisdictions provide a broader range of public goods (the so-called ?zoo effect?, Oates (1988)). We take advantage of the fact that, in France, many municipalities recently joined together, forming groups of municipalities (or communities) in order to achieve economies of scale. Using spatial econometrics, we find some evidence for the existence of a zoo effect in French communities. In other terms, larger communities provide a broader range of services than smaller ones. The intensity of the zoo effect is higher in urban than in rural areas. JEL classification: H4, H7

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Article provided by De Boeck Université in its journal Recherches économiques de Louvain.

Volume (Year): 77 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 87-104

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Handle: RePEc:cai:reldbu:rel_772_0087
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  1. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
  2. Robert Breunig & Yvon Rocaboy, 2008. "Per-capita public expenditures and population size: a non-parametric analysis using French data," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(3), pages 429-445, September.
  3. Federico Revelli, 2005. "On Spatial Public Finance Empirics," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 475-492, August.
  4. Case, Anne C. & Rosen, Harvey S. & Hines, James Jr., 1993. "Budget spillovers and fiscal policy interdependence : Evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 285-307, October.
  5. Oates, Wallace E., 1988. "On the measurement of congestion in the provision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 85-94, July.
  6. Anselin, Luc, 1988. "A test for spatial autocorrelation in seemingly unrelated regressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 335-341.
  7. Matthieu Leprince & Alain Guengant, 2002. "Interactions fiscales verticales et réaction des communes à la coopération intercommunale," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 53(3), pages 525-535.
  8. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
  9. Jean-Michel Josselin & Yvon Rocaboy & Christophe Tavéra, 2009. "The influence of population size on the relevance of demand or supply models for local public goods: Evidence from France," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(3), pages 563-574, 08.
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