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Spatial equity and public services: An empirical analysis of local government finance in England

Boyne, George Alexander, Powell, Martin and Ashworth, Rachel Elizabeth ORCID: 2001. Spatial equity and public services: An empirical analysis of local government finance in England. Public Management Review 3 (1) , pp. 19-34. 10.1080/14719030122423

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In this article we develop and apply three normative criteria for evaluating the equity of the spatial distribution of local government finance. These are: service needs, as indicated by the characteristics of local population; rights, as measured by contributions to national and local taxes; and effort, which is the ratio of local taxes to incomes. We hypothesize that, in line with the Conservative governments' commitment to market criteria of equity in the 1980s and 1990s, the relationship between local spending and need became weaker while the relationship with rights and effort became stronger. The results of an empirical analysis of the spatial equity of expenditures in England are not consistent with this expectation. The dominant criterion of equity in local government finance between 1981 and 1996 was service need, rather than rights or effort. The evidence suggests that those areas which need more local spending get more, those which pay more get less and those which try harder get little reward for their efforts.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Uncontrolled Keywords: Equity; Local Government; Public Expenditure; Taxation
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1471-9037
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 10:55

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