Theoretical Perspectives, International Experience and Policy Reform
Studies in Fiscal Federalism and State–local Finance series
Edited by Santiago Lago-Peñas and Jorge Martinez-Vazquez
Chapter 2: An international perspective on the determinants of local government fragmentation
Subnational government fragmentation, associated with the small size of jurisdictions to take advantage of economies of scale in service delivery, is a commonly perceived problem in many decentralized systems around the globe. Subnational government fragmentation typically takes the form of an excessive number of subnational jurisdictions at any level of government, most often at the local or municipal level. But fragmentation may also have other manifestations, including in particular the number of tiers or levels of subnational governments. As is to be expected, however, the degree of jurisdictional fragmentation varies widely from country to country and through different regions of the world. In order to examine the extent and determinants of jurisdictional fragmentation in this chapter, we will use the most recent available information for a sample of 197 countries. The analysis of the raw data shows considerable diversity in terms of jurisdictional fragmentation.
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