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Municipal Finance of Urban Infrastructure: Knowns and Unknowns

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  • James Alm

    () (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

Abstract

Various trends, including an increasing emphasis on fiscal decentralization; political democratization in many areas; globalization and the financial liberalization that often accompanies it; growing demands for urban services as urbanization continues in major cities around the world; all argue compellingly for finding ways to help municipalities finance large scale infrastructure. Improved urban infrastructure, for water supply, sanitation, urban transportation and solid waste management is widely believed essential in encouraging and facilitating economic growth. Evidence indicates that those countries most successful in sustaining high growth supported their cities with transformative investments to improve urban infrastructure that could accommodate rapid population growth in major economic centers. This evidence suggests that infrastructure has a strong “supplyside†orientation and in practice, it is the effects of infrastructure on “supply†that are most often emphasized. There is also a strong “demand-side†aspect: individuals and businesses value the services that flow from the stock of infrastructure facilities and these demands should be (but are often not) considered in determining the appropriate level of infrastructure investment. In addition to the potential supply-and-demand-side impacts on economic growth, the services of infrastructure also play a significant role in the distribution of income.[Working paper No. 19]
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Suggested Citation

  • James Alm, 2011. "Municipal Finance of Urban Infrastructure: Knowns and Unknowns," Working Papers 1103, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1103
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    File URL: http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1103.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adriana Cassoni & Gastón J. Labadie & Gabriela Fachola, 2002. "The Economic Effects of Unions in Latin America: Their Impact on Wages and the Economic Performance of Firms in Uruguay," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3283, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Roy Bahl, 1999. "Implementation Rules For Fiscal Decentralization," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper9803, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank & International Monetary Fund, 2013. "Global Monitoring Report 2013 : Rural-Urban Dynamics and the Millennium Development Goals," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13330.
    2. Annez , Patricia Clarke & Linn, Johannes F., 2010. "An agenda for research on urbanization in developing countries : a summary of findings from a scoping exercise," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5476, The World Bank.
    3. Harinder Kohli & Ashok Sharma & Anil Sood (ed.), 2011. "Asia 2050: Realizing the Asian Century," Books, Emerging Markets Forum, edition 1, number asia2050.

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