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Urban public finance in developing countries

Bahl, Roy W. Linn, Johannes F. Office of the Publisher (EXTOP) [Corporate Author]

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The publication of this volume on urban public finance is timely. The book distills the lessons learned by the authors during many years of work. These lessons will be of great value for policymakers, who are recognizing that urban development is still a major challenge for developing countries. Investments by urban local governments in social and physical infrastructure are now recognized as critical. Maintenance of public capital assets in urban areas is now the responsibility of local authorities, thus fiscal discipline and reliance on local resources have become the watchwords of the 1990s. There has been a growing demand to involve citizens more directly in governance. Related to this is the notion that people will pay more taxes if they see a closer relation between what they pay and what they receive in public goods and services. This volume provides a policy framework for urban public finance in developing countries. On the basis of an in-depth survey of global experience during the past two decades, it offers detailed guidance on issues of how to design local revenue instruments. Beyond this, it seeks a better understanding of the critical elements that connect urban policy and national economic development. By following the lessons of comparative experience gathered here, cities can begin to overcome their government's failures to provide them with critical physical and social infrastructure.