Jurisdictional Overlap & the Size of the Local Public Workforce

Public employment

Christopher B. Goodman. (2018). “Jurisdictional Overlap & the Size of the Local Public Workforce,” State and Local Government Review, 50 (1): 15-23 doi: 10.1177/0160323X18774402


Northern Illinois University


July 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.


BibTeX citation:
  author = {Christopher B. Goodman},
  title = {Jurisdictional Overlap \& the Size of the Local Public
  journal = {State \& Local Government Review},
  volume = {50},
  number = {1},
  pages = {15 - 23},
  date = {2018},
  url = {https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0160323X18774402},
  doi = {10.1177/0160323X18774402},
  langid = {en}