Bulletin n. 1/2017
June 2017
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Shi Yu
    The Rise of Specialized Governance in American Federalism: Testing Links Between Local Government Autonomy and Formation of Special District Governments
    in Publius: The Journal of Federalism , vol. 47, n. 1, Winter ,  2017 ,  99-130
    In this article, I investigate whether the growth of special districts in the fifty states from 1972 to 2002 can be explained by choices made by local general-purpose governments in response to different degrees of government autonomy in the fiscal, institutional, and political system. Focusing on three dimensions of government autonomyŚlocal government capacity, local government discretion, and local government importanceŚI find that the growth of certain types of special districts is in part a response to state laws constraining government autonomy of general-purpose governments. The findings also suggest that reliance on special districts by local general-purpose governments would decrease if they had stronger own-source revenue-raising capacities and more diversified tax revenue bases. In contrast with prior studies, the analysis provides limited evidence to support the notion that special districts are formed by general-purpose governments to circumvent fiscal restrictions, such as debt limits and tax and expenditure limitations.
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