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Thinking about need: Public spending on the regions


  • Ross Mackay
  • Jonathan Williams


MacKay R. R. and Williams J. (2005) Thinking about need: public spending on the regions, Regional Studies 39 , 815-828. The UK Treasury accepts that need is the correct guide to spending on public services in different parts of the UK. But the formula used to decide changes in devolved spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland depends on the population: it does not compensate for differences in need. With devolved spending determined by need, there would be consistency across 11 of the 12 UK regions. London would be the sole exception. The heavy cost of the capital's public services is part of the argument for a more even distribution of income, wealth and employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ross Mackay & Jonathan Williams, 2005. "Thinking about need: Public spending on the regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 815-828.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:39:y:2005:i:6:p:815-828
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400500213812

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simon Burgess & Denise Gossage & Carol Propper, 2003. "Explaining differences in hospital performance: Does the answer lie in the labour market?," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/091, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2007-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Tsekeris, Theodore, 2014. "Multi-sectoral interdependencies of regional public infrastructure investments," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 263-272.
    3. Yannis Psycharis, 2008. "Public Spending Patterns: the regional allocation of public investment in Greece by political period," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 14, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.

    More about this item


    Automatic stabilizers; Need; National solidarity; Devolved spending; London paradox; Stabilisateurs automatiques; Besoin; Solidarite; Depense regionalisee; Paradoxe de Londres; Automatische Stabilisatoren; Bedurftigkeit; uberregionale Solidaritat; dezentralisierte Ausgaben; das Paradox London; Estabilizadores automaticos; Necesidad; Solidaridad nacional; Gastos descentralizados; Paradoja londinense; JEL classifications: R1; R5; H2; H7;

    JEL classification:

    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations


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