Economic and institutional determinants of mayors’ perceptions on power shifts in a crisis scenario

GT 5.9 Los gobiernos locales en tiempos de austeridad. Midiendo transformaciones en autonomía, re-dimensionamiento y gestión de servicios en el mundo local

Lluís Medir Tejado (Universitat de Barcelona)
Joan Josep Vallbé (Universitat de Barcelona)
Mariona Tomàs Fornés (Universitat de Barcelona)
Sesión 1
Día: viernes,22 de septiembre de 2017
Hora: 09:00 a 11:00
Lugar: Seminario Relaciones Laborales

Time series of regionalisation as measured by the regional authority index have suggested increasing self-rule of regions in many unitary and even federal countries around the world. Despite this institutional trend, the economic policies adopted by European governments to face the crisis have produced a notable transformation of local governments that range from local agglomeration processes to cuts in local service provision, which lead to dramatic decreases of relative local public expenditures. These policies have been particularly harsh in those economies that suffered greater challenges, thus affecting the autonomy of their local governments in crucial matters. Our main question is whether these austerity measures have an effect on the perceptions mayors hold regarding the overall evolution of the integrity of local power. In other words, we intend to find out to what extent the loss of economic capacity of local governments translates into higher levels of power shifts from municipalities to other tiers of government. We observe that mayors within countries that implemented more severe budget reductions perceive higher levels of power shifts.

Palabras clave: crisis, local government, economic capacity, power shift, mayors