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Demand for locally provided public services within the median voter's framework: the case of the Brazilian municipalities

  • Constantino Cronemberger Mendes
  • Maria da Conceicao Sampaio de Sousa
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    In this paper we estimated the demand for local public spending for the Brazilian municipalities within a median voter's framework. The rationale for applying that framework came from the fact that in federal systems voters' preferences are more likely to be reflected at the local level as the consumers of public services have a better knowledge of the benefits and costs of the local public expenditures. Results obtained are consistent with the theoretical background thus suggesting that this hypothesis might be useful to describe the demand for local public goods in Brazil. In particular, the use of quantile regression permitted us to investigate the impacts of the conditioning variables on local public expenses across different expenditures classes thus allowing for heterogeneity across municipalities. Our results also suggest that the impact of the city size on the quality of club goods shows crowding effects as γ is between zero and one. However, in the estimated models, marginal congestion slightly decreases with expenditure. This is a rather surprising result as one is tempted to conclude that the congestion effect should be higher on big cities. Yet, a more careful look shows the drawbacks of such an interpretation. The indivisibilities preclude the provision of certain services in small towns, concentrating their provision on larger cities. Hence, the higher expenditures of those big cities reflect not only a crowding cost but also the fact that these towns offer a wide range of services when compared to the small ones.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 239-251

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:38:y:2006:i:3:p:239-251
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    1. Reiter, Michael & Weichenrieder, Alfons J., 1999. "Public Goods, Club Goods, and the Measurement of Crowding," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 69-79, July.
    2. Congleton, Roger D & Shughart, William F, II, 1990. "The Growth of Social Security: Electoral Push or Political Pull?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(1), pages 109-32, January.
    3. Matz Dahlberg & Eva Johansson, 1998. "The revenues-expenditures nexus: panel data evidence from Swedish municipalities," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(10), pages 1379-1386.
    4. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Shapiro, Perry, 1982. "Micro-Based Estimates of Demand Functions for Local School Expenditures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1183-1205, September.
    5. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
    6. Cyriaque Moreau & Matthieu Leprince & Marc Baudry, 2002. "Préférences révélées, bien public local et électeur médian : tests sur données françaises," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 156(5), pages 125-146.
    7. Varian, Hal R., 1990. "Goodness-of-fit in optimizing models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 125-140.
    8. Dahlberg, Matz & Johansson, Eva, 1997. "An Examination of the Dynamic Behavior of Local Governments Using GMM Bootstrapping Methods," Working Paper Series 1997:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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    10. Koenker, Roger & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1982. "Robust Tests for Heteroscedasticity Based on Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 43-61, January.
    11. Roger Koenker & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Quantile Regression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 143-156, Fall.
    12. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
    13. Yvon Rocaboy & Alain Guengant & Jean-Michel Josselin, 2002. "Effects of club size in the provision of public goods. Network and congestion effects in the case of the French municipalities," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 81(4), pages 443-460.
    14. Aronsson, Thomas & Lundberg, Johan & Wikstrom, Magnus, 2000. "The impact of regional public expenditures on the local decision to spend," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 185-202, March.
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