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 journalArticle

Abstract

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)
JournalPublic Performance and Management Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

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

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