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Central City Exploitation by Urban Sprawl? Evidence from Swiss Local Communities


  • Christoph A. Schaltegger
  • Benno Torgler
  • Simon Zemp


This paper investigates spatial spillovers in local spending decisions between the center and the surrounding local communities by using panel data of the canton of Lucerne during the 1990s. Due to the geographical fragmentation with a major central city and some 100 small suburban local communities within a distance from 4 to 55 kilometers to the center this area represents a particularly useful database in order to test the relevance of spatial interactions in a small metropolitan area. The empirical evidence confirms strategic interactions among suburban governments and the central city only for public education, health and environmental spending. There are no spatial interactions with the central city for overall government spending.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoph A. Schaltegger & Benno Torgler & Simon Zemp, 2009. "Central City Exploitation by Urban Sprawl? Evidence from Swiss Local Communities," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2009-07

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Deborah Roberts, 2000. "The Spatial Diffusion of Secondary Impacts: Rural-Urban Spillovers in Grampian, Scotland," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(3), pages 395-412.
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    5. Heyndels, Bruno & Vuchelen, Jef, 1998. "Tax Mimicking Among Belgian Municipalities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 1), pages 89-101, March.
    6. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Amy Schwartz, 1995. "Spatial productivity spillovers from public infrastructure: Evidence from state highways," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(3), pages 459-468, October.
    7. Werner W. Pommerehne & Susanne Krebs, 1991. "Fiscal Interactions of Central City and Suburbs: The Case of Zurich," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 28(5), pages 783-801, October.
    8. Federico Revelli, 2001. "Spatial patterns in local taxation: tax mimicking or error mimicking?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(9), pages 1101-1107.
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    10. 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.
    11. Brueckner, Jan K., 1983. "Central-city income redistribution and the flight to the suburbs : A stylized model," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 177-193, May.
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    13. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-664, August.
    14. Heyndels, Bruno & Vuchelen, Jef, 1998. "Tax Mimicking Among Belgian Municipalities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(1), pages 89-101, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Quentin Frère & Matthieu Leprince & Sonia Paty, 2014. "The Impact of Intermunicipal Cooperation on Local Public Spending," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 51(8), pages 1741-1760, June.

    More about this item


    spatial spillovers; strategic interaction; central city exploitation;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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