Managing the crises : How do Swiss municipalities react to the crisis and what explains the differences ?


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Managing the crises : How do Swiss municipalities react to the crisis and what explains the differences ?
Ladner A.
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Working paper de l'IDHEAP
Swiss municipalities are to an import ant extent responsible for their own resources. Since these resources primarily depend on income and property tax from individuals and enterprises, their budgets are likely to be directly affected by the actual crisis of the financial sector and the economy. This paper investigates how the municipalities perceive this threat and how they reacted to it or plan to do so. In a nationwide survey conducted at the end of 2009 in all 2596 Swiss municipalities, we asked the local secretaries which measures they launch in order to cope with expected losses in tax
income and a possible increase of welfare spending. Do the municipalities rather rely on Keynesian measures increasing public spending and accepting greater deficits, or do they try to avoid further deficits by austerity measures and a withdrawal of planned investments? The paper shows that only a few municipalities - mainly the bigger ones - expect to be strongly hit by the crisis. Their reactions, however, do not reveal the clear patterns theory lets to expect. Preferences for austerity measures and deficit spending become visible but many municipalities take measures from both theories. The strongest explaining factor whether municipalities react is the affectedness by the crisis followed by the fact that the municipality belongs to the French speaking part of the country. Size also has an effect whereas the strength of the Social Democrats is negligible. More difficult is it, to explain what kind of measures municipalities are likely to take.
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05/03/2014 11:51
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20/08/2019 16:13
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