IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/pio/envirc/v18y2000i3p255-270.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Local authority size in theory and practice

Author

Listed:
  • David N King
  • Yue Ma

Abstract

In this paper we develop a model for local authority size that is based on the approach towards local government reform that was used by the UK governments in the 1970s and the 1990s. To do so, we examine the different aspects of costs for local services, the minimum cost size facility used to provide local services, and the minimum efficient size for a local authority. We then argue that, for a given level of service, the belief that a tendency for local authorities to become enablers rather than producers would reduce the minimum efficient size of authority may not be correct. Finally, the model is developed to determine simultaneously the optimum quantity of local services and the minimum efficient size. It shows that the solution depends on how preferences vary among different citizens, and argues that governments paid too little heed to these variations. Thus we conclude that it is very doubtful whether either the 1970s or the 1990s reforms produced the structure of local government that would have emerged if the approach adopted by the governments concerned had been used with more care.

Suggested Citation

  • David N King & Yue Ma, 2000. "Local authority size in theory and practice," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 18(3), pages 255-270, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirc:v:18:y:2000:i:3:p:255-270
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.envplan.com/abstract.cgi?id=c9856
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see http://www.envplan.co.uk/C.html for details

    File URL: http://www.envplan.com/epc/fulltext/c18/c9856.pdf
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see http://www.envplan.co.uk/C.html for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-296, June.
    2. 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.
    3. David N King & Yue Ma, 2000. "Local Authority Provision versus Club Provision," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 18(2), pages 207-223, April.
    4. McGuire, Martin, 1974. "Group Segregation and Optimal Jurisdictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 112-132, Jan.-Feb..
    5. Sonstelie, Jon, 1982. "The Welfare Cost of Free Public Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 794-808, August.
    6. Glazer, Amihai & Niskanen, Esko & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1997. "On the uses of club theory: Preface to the club theory symposium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 3-7, July.
    7. Hochman, Oded & Pines, David & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1995. "On the Optimal Structure of Local Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1224-1240, December.
    8. Hochman, Oded, 1981. "Land rents, optimal taxation and local fiscal independence in an economy with local public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 59-85, February.
    9. Gilbert, Guy & Picard, Pierre, 1996. "Incentives and optimal size of local jurisdictions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 19-41, January.
    10. D N King, 1994. "A Model of Optimum Local Authority Size," Working Papers Series 94/1, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    11. Li, Xiaoming & Ma, Yue, 1996. "Financial Reforms and Regional Investment Conflicts in China: A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 117-130.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Sabrina Iommi & Donatella Marinari, 2016. "Frammentazione comunale e spesa pubblica: una proposta di aggregazione sui sistemi locali del lavoro," ECONOMIA PUBBLICA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2016(1), pages 107-136.
    2. Mark Callanan & Ronan Murphy & Aodh Quinlivan, 2014. "The Risks of Intuition: Size, Costs and Economies of Scale in Local Government," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(3), pages 371-403.
    3. repec:spr:chfecr:v:4:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1186_s40589-016-0026-y is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Heinesen, Eskil, 2005. "School district size and student educational attainment: evidence from Denmark," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 677-689, December.
    5. Rhys Andrews, 2012. "Local Government Size and Efficiency in Labour Intensive Public Services: Evidence from Local Educational Authorities in England," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1214, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    6. David N King & Yue Ma, 2000. "Local authority provision versus club provision," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 18(2), pages 207-223, April.
    7. Mototsugu Fukushige & Yingxin Shi, 2014. "Efficient Scale of Local Government in China: Quantile Regression Approach to County-Level Data," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-15, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    8. Rhys Andrews, 2013. "Local government size and efficiency in labor-intensive public services: evidence from local educational authorities in England," Chapters,in: The Challenge of Local Government Size, chapter 7, pages 171-188 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envirc:v:18:y:2000:i:3:p:255-270. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond). General contact details of provider: http://www.pion.co.uk .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.