In a paper now published by Fonds mondial pour le développement des villes (FMDV) entitled “What the world needs now… is local infrastructure investments – Challenges and solutions with a focus on finance” I outline how economic growth can be supported after the financial crisis. Faced with immense challenges such as rapid urbanisation and climate change, local authorities worldwide must be given the tools to support investments in local infrastructure. These investments need to be properly financed. Raised taxes and central government transfers are not enough and raising finance directly from banks and the international capital market can become a costly affair for many local authorities. This is the reason why it is necessary to look closer at the option of Pooled Financing Mechanisms (PFM) in which local authorities come together to jointly, and with solidarity, raise funding in a cost-effective way from the markets. These PFMs or Local Government Funding Agencies also help foster professionalism and transparency within local authorities, as well as contributing to increased local democracy. Read the full paper here.
Lars M Andersson
Lars M. Andersson, together with Sören Häggroth, appears with an Op-Ed in the Swedish weakly ’Aktuellt i politiken’ demanding more support to the municipalities. They ask for a comprehensive approach to the problems that the Swedish municipalities will encounter in the future. Sweden, as many industrialised nations, face a demographic challenge as the population become older. Urbanisation is also continuing. Long-term solutions for the financing of welfare services will need to be found. The authors outline a number of suggestions and stress the need for the state to take an active and vigorous role in, together with municipal actors, planning the future financing of local authorities.
Read the article in full here (in Swedish only).
Lars M. Andersson has, together with Sören Häggroth, written the newly published book: Kommunala vägval (Municipalities at the Crossroads). The book is in Swedish.
The subject for the book (link) is the future challenges for local authorities. Many parts of the world face a development with a growing elderly population and an accelerated urbanisation. This will put strain on the production of local welfare services. How can the local welfare sector be financed in the future? How can local authorities’ activities be more efficient? Is cooperation a way to save money? Which are the implications of the fact that more and more private companies are involved in providing public services? How should the legal framework for future local public sector look like?
The book is published with the support from Kommuninvest and the Association for Swedish Municipal Finance Officers. The publishing house is Nya Doxa. ISBN: 978-91-578-0606-2