Public Choice Theory and Local Government: A Comparative by George A. Boyne

By George A. Boyne

This e-book evaluates the validity of a key proposition of public selection conception: that festival is linked to better functionality through governmental organizations. 3 sorts of pageant in neighborhood executive are pointed out: festival among neighborhood professionals, festival among councils and personal contractors, and festival among events for political strength. the level and effects of festival are assessed in either the united kingdom and united states. The research is used to attract conclusions at the results of pageant and the validity of public selection thought.

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Extra resources for Public Choice Theory and Local Government: A Comparative Analysis of the UK and the USA

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Public choice theory assumes that individuals will cluster into homogeneous communities and that consumer preferences will be closely reflected in public policies. By contrast, ‘if increased standardisation and regulatory control is shifted up the hierarchy, the ability of lower level governments to offer alternatives (in quantity or quality) will be restricted and local officials will be less accountable to citizens’ (Staley and Blair, 1995: 23). The absence of tight central controls in the public choice model does not imply that councils are completely autonomous.

As Newton (1980) argues, equalisation could have been achieved with far lower grants than prevailed in the 1960s and 1970s in the UK, when central funding comprised around twothirds of net local spending. In addition, from a public choice perspective, a grant should be truly equalising and not simply paid as a geographically uniform per capita subsidy to local councils. Public choice theory implies that this is the worst form of grant which promotes neither local competition nor horizontal equity.

However, most empirical studies in the USA examine the relationship between fragmentation or concentration and spending by local governments. Inferences on efficiency can be drawn directly from evidence on expenditure only if it is assumed that variations in output quantity and quality are not related to variations in spending. In other words the ‘heroic’ (or villainous) assumption is that high spending indicates inefficiency, and that low spending reflects efficiency. It is worth noting that there is some evidence that the relationship between the quantity of service outputs and spending levels is generally weak (for example, Sharkansky 1967; Hinkley and Marquette 1983).

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