Georgia State University
Gomez, Juan L.
Essays on Optimal Jurisdictional Size for Local Service Delivery.
Degree: PhD, Public Management and Policy, 2010, Georgia State University
This dissertation contributes to the definition of an analytical framework for the study of optimal jurisdictional size for local service delivery. We argue that the standard economics framework for the analysis of optimal jurisdictional size importantly neglects individual preferences for political accountability. Our theoretical model shows that once we take into account such preferences, the optimal jurisdictional size for the provision of local public goods is smaller than in the standard model. We obtain empirical evidence to support our hypothesis from a sample of 197 countries. Our results show that, in fact, demand for political accountability leads to higher jurisdictional fragmentation both in terms of greater number of jurisdictions and smaller average population per jurisdiction. In addition, a meta-analysis of the empirical contributions to the study of economies of scale in the provision of local services shows that the economies of scale expected from service provision to larger jurisdictional sizes may not be present except for a handful of local services, and limited to relatively small population sizes. The results of the meta-analysis signal moderately increasing to constant returns to scale in the provision of traditional local services. In light of these results, we argue that forced jurisdictional consolidation programs across the world justified by perceptions of excessive jurisdictional fragmentation, or by the expectation of large expenditure savings due to economies of scale may have been, thus, erroneously designed. From a policy perspective, multi-layered institutional frameworks for service delivery (including cooperation and privatization among other options) may allow targeting available efficiency gains more efficiently than consolidation.
Advisors/Committee Members: Dr. Jorge L. Martinez-Vazquez, Dr. James R. Alm, Dr. Jenny E. Ligthart, Dr. Juan D. Rogers, Dr. Francois Vaillancourt, Dr. Katherine G. Willoughby.
Subjects/Keywords: territorial fragmentation; economies of scale; jurisdictional reform; fiscal decentralization; local government; decentralization in government
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Gomez, J. L. (2010). Essays on Optimal Jurisdictional Size for Local Service Delivery. (Doctoral Dissertation). Georgia State University. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/pmap_diss/43
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Gomez, Juan L. “Essays on Optimal Jurisdictional Size for Local Service Delivery.” 2010. Doctoral Dissertation, Georgia State University. Accessed April 06, 2020.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Gomez, Juan L. “Essays on Optimal Jurisdictional Size for Local Service Delivery.” 2010. Web. 06 Apr 2020.
Gomez JL. Essays on Optimal Jurisdictional Size for Local Service Delivery. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Georgia State University; 2010. [cited 2020 Apr 06].
Available from: https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/pmap_diss/43.
Council of Science Editors:
Gomez JL. Essays on Optimal Jurisdictional Size for Local Service Delivery. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Georgia State University; 2010. Available from: https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/pmap_diss/43