Exploring the Link between Fiscal Arrangements and the Quality of Public Services: Evidence from Major U.S. Urban Park Systems

Yuan Cheng, Yu Shi, Simon Andrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


There is a longstanding debate about whether the fiscal and institutional arrangements for the provision of quality urban services should be more dispersed or concentrated. We contribute to the debate by exploring the link between fiscal arrangements and public service quality by compiling a unique panel dataset of the quality indicators for major U.S. urban park systems and their funding sources from different types of overlapping local jurisdictions. This article shows that a more dispersed fiscal arrangement among cities, counties, and special districts is negatively associated with the quality of urban park systems. We conclude the article by discussing possible mechanisms of why such a negative correlation between more dispersed fiscal arrangement and the quality of public services applies to shared amenities like urban parks services. The nature of public services seems to be the key to understanding this relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1445-1470
Number of pages26
JournalPublic Performance and Management Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially supported by the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University. The authors wish to thank Michael McGinnis, the participants of the 2018 ASPA Section on Public Performance Management Symposium, the participants of the 2018 Rethinking Cross-Sector Social Innovation Conference, and the reviewers for their helpful comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Fiscal arrangements
  • local government
  • metropolitan governance
  • performance
  • public management

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the Link between Fiscal Arrangements and the Quality of Public Services: Evidence from Major U.S. Urban Park Systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this