Fiscal Decentralisation of Services: The Case of the Local Public Sector in European Countries
Reference: Halaskova, M, Halaskova, R., Gavurova, B., Kubak, M. (2021). Fiscal Decentralisation of Services: The Case of the Local Public Sector in European Countries. Journal of Tourism and Services, 23(12), 26-43. doi: 10.29036/jots.v12i23.234
Keywords:Service sector, local public sector, public services, fiscal decentralisation, local expenditure, cluster analysis.
Services are a dynamically developing economic sector in all countries. The paper focuses on public services, evaluated from the perspective of fiscal decentralization. It aims to evaluate the level of fiscal decentralization of expenditures in selected categories of public services in European countries. For this purpose, government expenditures by the local government sector are analyzed in the set of the selected 28 European countries in the period 2010-2018. Cluster analysis has been carried out in order to determine four clusters of countries based on their level of decentralization of expenditures on services. The results show differences in the extent of decentralization between the European countries in the provision of specific public services and reflect the form of financing of local public needs. A low level of fiscal decentralization of expenditures on services (public order and safety; housing and community amenities; recreation, culture, and religion) was observed in the majority of the countries. However, the majority of the countries failed to prove a high level of fiscal decentralization of expenditures on services (social protection, health, education) and a medium level of decentralization of expenditures in terms of general public services and services of economic affairs. These findings demonstrate that the degree of decentralization of public services is determined, to a certain degree, determined by country history and its geographical location, as well as by the different roles of sector-specific public policies. The findings can be helpful for creators of local public policies, strategic plans, and financial concepts.
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