DP899 On the Optimal Structure of Local Governments

Author(s): Oded Hochman, David Pines, Jacques-François Thisse
Publication Date: March 1994
Keyword(s): Land Rent, Local Public Goods, Metropolitan Governments, Transportation Costs
JEL(s): H11, H72, R51, R53
Programme Areas: Applied Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=899

We show that space matters in designing the optimal provision of local public goods (LPGs). Geography imposes particular institutional structure of local governments due to the overlapping of market areas associated with different LPGs. The optimum can be decentralized through local governments that have jurisdiction over market areas of all LPG-types. This implies that the appropriate suppliers of LPGs are metropolitan approach invalidates the prevailing theory of fiscal federalism, according to which a layer of government should be established for each type of LPG.