Political Economy of Local Government Reform



A vast literature has examined local public sector reform which offers insights into diagnosing problems, designing reform programs and implementing these programs. This chapter examines some of the more important strands in this voluminous body of work. It considers alternative ways of conceptualizing reform advanced by Peters, Hood and other scholars. It then summarizes the literature on local government failure, new institutional economics (NIE) with its emphasis on property rights, transaction costs and agency theory, as well as the role of leadership in implementing transformational reform in the local public sector. In terms of empirical evidence, two leading comparative studies are considered, one of which examines municipal reform in Anglosphere countries while the other study concentrates on comparative municipal reform across 28 European countries.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BusinessUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada
  3. 3.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.Governance StudiesBrookings InstitutionWashington, DCUSA

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