Subnational finance in Australia and China: The case for municipal bond banks

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Handbook of Research on Sub-National Governance and Development, 2016, pp. 150 - 166
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© 2017 by IGI Global. All rights reserved. The political and economic benefits of decentralization have been cogently represented, to the extent that decentralization and devolution comprise identifiable programs of reform across a range of polities. However, the public policy question of finance following function - and the oversight of this process - is less resolved. Further, concerns over the financial sustainability of sub-national governments continue across a range of polities. Against the backdrop of reforms to municipal finance in both Australia and China, this chapter provides an account of the formation and functioning of two successful sub-national financial institutions, the Local Government Finance Authority of South Australia (LGFA) and the Municipal Finance Authority of British Colombia. The case studies suggest that sub-national finance may not be the thorn in the side of decentralization it sometimes appears to be. The broader introduction of such financial instruments is considered.
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