Local communities in all countries are increasingly aware of resource scarcity and are pressing for more say in how funds are used. Developments in Local Government Finance examines key issues for economists interested in local government and, in particular, the functioning of institutions at regional and local levels. Local government organization and finance are addressed from a variety of approaches by the authors who critically examine the current intergovernmental distribution of responsibility for service provision and revenue raising. Adopting a multilateral approach to theory and policy, this major book stresses the need for real, and not just formal, devolution and greater local accountability. The contributors highlight how instruments for financing local government and for pursuing interpersonal and geographical equity can vary considerably between countries with broadly similar systems, yet be surprisingly similar for countries with quite different institutional arrangements.
Particular reference is made to emerging problems in the European Union and the experience of Switzerland, a country where fiscal federalism and tax harmonization are living together in a unique equilibrium of forces. Developments in Local Government Finance presents a major contribution to the understanding of local government and finance for both students and practitioners.