Metropolitan Governance And Finance: International Practice And Reform Options For China

APA International Division


Saturday, July 2, 2016
9 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. CDT

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The world population will approximately double between 2008 and 2050 and virtually all of this increase will be absorbed by urban areas in less developed countries (United Nations, 2008).    The population growth in metropolitan areas in low income countries, and their large and growing economic importance in these countries are calling out major changes in their public financing and governance.  The large local governments operating in these metropolitan regions simply do not fit the usual fiscal decentralization framework, and a different governance and fiscal regime is called for. 

In this presentation, we will explore some of the approaches to public financing and service delivery that are taken in metropolitan areas in OECD countries and in some middle and lower income countries.  We also consider the case of China, where metropolitan areas are very large by world standards, but autonomous financing by local governments is limited.  We offer a discussion of a number of the fiscal reform options that have been discussed and others that might be considered.