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Authors: Howard Husock
Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 1999
Length: 11 pages

Abstract

As part of its efforts to recover from hyperinflation and an oversized public sector, the government of Argentina--specifically the province of Buenos Aires--seeks to control costs and improve service in local government. To do so, the provincial government tries a bold strategy: it splits up three large suburban Buenos Aires municipalities into eight new, smaller, jurisdictions. This budgeting, financial management, and political strategy case focuses on the implementation of the move toward smaller, more local government, through the prism of the creation of one of the new municipalities: the town of Hurlingham.The case describes the nuts-and-bolts budget decisions which a transition team of officials must make--how to structure the new government, how to increase tax receipts-- and the political decisions which its new mayor confronts. He must decide which parts of the new town will get service priority--high-voting wealthy districts where tax collection has been low, or poorer neighborhoods from which the new mayor drew key electoral support? This case allows both for rigorous budget analysis and assessment of budget- related political strategy.

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Abstract

As part of its efforts to recover from hyperinflation and an oversized public sector, the government of Argentina--specifically the province of Buenos Aires--seeks to control costs and improve service in local government. To do so, the provincial government tries a bold strategy: it splits up three large suburban Buenos Aires municipalities into eight new, smaller, jurisdictions. This budgeting, financial management, and political strategy case focuses on the implementation of the move toward smaller, more local government, through the prism of the creation of one of the new municipalities: the town of Hurlingham.The case describes the nuts-and-bolts budget decisions which a transition team of officials must make--how to structure the new government, how to increase tax receipts-- and the political decisions which its new mayor confronts. He must decide which parts of the new town will get service priority--high-voting wealthy districts where tax collection has been low, or poorer neighborhoods from which the new mayor drew key electoral support? This case allows both for rigorous budget analysis and assessment of budget- related political strategy.

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