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The Impact of Local Decentralization on Economic Growth: Evidence from U.S. Counties

  • Hammond, George W.

    ()

    (West Virginia University)

  • Tosun, Mehmet S.

    ()

    (University of Nevada, Reno)

We analyze the impact of fiscal decentralization on U.S. county population, employment, and real income growth. Our findings suggest that government organization matters for local economic growth, but that the impacts vary by government unit and by economic indicator. We find that single-purpose governments per square mile have a positive impact on metropolitan population and employment growth, but no significant impact on nonmetropolitan counties. In contrast, the fragmentation of general-purpose governments per capita has a negative impact on employment and population growth in nonmetropolitan counties. Our results suggest that local government decentralization matters differently for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4574.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Regional Science, 2010, 20 (10), 1-18
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4574
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  1. Danyang Xie & Heng-fu Zou & Hamid Davoodi, 1999. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in the United States," CEMA Working Papers 109, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
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  10. Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "Fiscal decentralization, public spending, and economic growth in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1608, The World Bank.
  11. Oates, Wallace E., 2008. "On The Evolution of Fiscal Federalism: Theory and Institutions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(2), pages 313-34, June.
  12. Panizza, Ugo, 1999. "On the determinants of fiscal centralization: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 97-139, October.
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  17. Glaeser, Edward L. & Scheinkman, JoseA. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1995. "Economic growth in a cross-section of cities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 117-143, August.
  18. Santiago M. Pinto, 2007. "Tax Competition In The Presence Of Interjurisdictional Externalities: The Case Of Crime Prevention," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(5), pages 897-913.
  19. George W. Hammond & Eric Thompson, 2006. "Determinants of Income Growth in U.S. Metropolitan and Non-metropolitan Labor Markets," Working Papers 06-12 Classification- JEL, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  20. Barro, R.J., 1988. "Government Spending In A Simple Model Of Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 130, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  21. Brueckner, Jan K, 1999. " Fiscal Federalism and Capital Accumulation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(2), pages 205-24.
  22. Beeson, Patricia E. & DeJong, David N. & Troesken, Werner, 2001. "Population growth in U.S. counties, 1840-1990," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 669-699, November.
  23. Akai, Nobuo & Sakata, Masayo, 2002. "Fiscal decentralization contributes to economic growth: evidence from state-level cross-section data for the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 93-108, July.
  24. Linda Lobao & David S. Kraybill, 2005. "The Emerging Roles of County Governments in Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas: Findings From a National Survey," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 19(3), pages 245-259, August.
  25. Arzaghi, Mohammad & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Why countries are fiscally decentralizing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1157-1189, July.
  26. George W. Hammond & Eric C. Thompson, 2008. "Determinants of Income Growth in Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Labor Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(3), pages 783-793.
  27. Zax, Jeffrey S, 1989. "Is There a Leviathan in Your Neighborhood?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 560-67, June.
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