Sorting and voting: A review of the literature on urban public finance
In: Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics
This chapter reviews the literature on the boundary between urban economics and local public finance, defined as research that considers both a housing market and the market for local public services. The first part of the chapter considers positive theories. This part presents the consensus model of the allocation of households to jurisdictions, which is built on bid functions and household sorting, as well as alternative approaches to this issue. It also examines models of local tax and spending decisions, which exhibit no consensus, and reviews research in which both housing and local fiscal variables are endogenous. The second part of the chapter considers empirical research, with a focus on tax and service capitalization, on household heterogeneity within jurisdictions, and on the impact of zoning. The third part considers normative theories about a decentralized system of local governments. This part examines the extent to which such a system leads to an efficient allocation of households to communities or efficient local public service levels, and it discusses the fairness of local public spending. This review shows that the bidding/sorting framework is strongly supported by the evidence and has wide applicability in countries with decentralized governmental systems. In contrast, models of local public service determination depend on institutional detail, and their connections with housing markets have been largely unexplored in empirical work. Ever since Tiebout (1956), many scholars have argued that decentralized local governments have efficiency advantages over centralized forms. However, a general treatment of this issue identifies four key sources of inefficiency even in a decentralized system: misallocation of households to communities, the property tax, public service capitalization and heterogeneity. Few policies to eliminate these sources of inefficiency have yet been identified. Finally, this review explores the equity implications of household sorting and other features of a decentralized system.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|This chapter was published in: ||This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics with number
3-47.||Handle:|| RePEc:eee:regchp:3-47||Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:regchp:3-47. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.