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Agglomeration, Population Size, and the Cost of Providing Public Services: An Empirical Analysis for German States

Author

Listed:
  • Stegarescu, Dan
  • Schwager, Robert
  • Büttner, Thiess

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the question as to what extent population size and density affect the cost of providing public services at the subnational level. Empirical estimates of cost functions are obtained from an analysis of the expenditures of German states disaggregated into about 40 functions of government. The empirical results indicate that generally there is no significant relationship between population density and the cost of public goods. At the same time, cost are almost proportionately related to population size indicating that goods and services provided by the German states display only a limited degree of publicness.

Suggested Citation

  • Stegarescu, Dan & Schwager, Robert & Büttner, Thiess, 2004. "Agglomeration, Population Size, and the Cost of Providing Public Services: An Empirical Analysis for German States," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-18, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:2028
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/24041/1/dp0418.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
    2. Litvack, James M & Oates, Wallace E, 1970. "Group Size and the Output of Public Goods: Theory and Application to State-Local Finance in the United States," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 25(1), pages 42-62.
    3. Oates, Wallace E., 1988. "On the measurement of congestion in the provision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 85-94, July.
    4. Steven G. Craig & Eric J. Heikkila, 1989. "Urban Safety in Vancouver: Allocation and Production of a Congestible Public Good," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 22(4), pages 867-884, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. O'Connell, Philip J. & Russell, Helen & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Human Resources," Book Chapters,in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. Fahey, Tony & Russell, Helen & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Childcare," Book Chapters,in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    3. Fahey, Tony & Scott, Susan & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Sports and Arts," Book Chapters,in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    4. Massimiliano Ferraresi & Umberto Galmarini & Leonzio Rizzo, 2014. "Local Infrastructures and Externalities: Does the Size Matter?," Working papers 14, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    5. T. Gries & M. Redlin, 2011. "International integration and the determinants of regional development in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 149-177, April.
    6. Morgenroth, Edgar & FitzGerald, John (ed.), 2006. "Ex-ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS59.
    7. repec:esr:resser:rs70 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Tate, Robert & Finlayson, Greg & MacWilliam, Leonard & Wiley, Miriam M. & Morgenroth, Edgar & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Health," Book Chapters,in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    9. Morgenroth, Edgar, 2014. "The Regional Development Impacts of Transport Infrastructure: A Literature Review and Policy Implications," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT278.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agglomeration; cost of public services; local public goods;

    JEL classification:

    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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