Jurisdictional Overlap & the Size of the Local Public Workforce

15 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2018 Last revised: 22 Sep 2018

Date Written: April 10, 2018


The United States is a country of many overlapping local governments. Theoretical explorations of the potential influence of this institutional arrangement abound; however, empirical evidence as the influence of such an arrangement on local public sector remains relatively thin. Instead of competing for mobile resources as suggested by Tiebout, overlapping jurisdictions utilize similar tax and voting bases introducing a potential commons problem. Using a county-level dataset from 1972 to 2012, this commons problem is explored. The results suggest that a positive relationship between jurisdictional overlap and the size of local public workforce amounting to approximately a one percent increase in employment or an increase of less than one full-time equivalent employee.

Keywords: Public employment, Tiebout, Interjurisdictional competition

JEL Classification: J45, H73, R50

Suggested Citation

Goodman, Christopher B., Jurisdictional Overlap & the Size of the Local Public Workforce (April 10, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3160320 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3160320

Christopher B. Goodman (Contact Author)

University of Nebraska at Omaha ( email )

6001 Dodge Street
Omaha, NE 68182
United States

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