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07/01/2011

Lincoln Institute-Brookings Conference: Metropolitan Government Finance in Developing Countries

For immediate release
Contact: Anthony Flint 617-503-2116 

      CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (July 1, 2011) – The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Brookings Institution will host a conference July 11-12, 2011 in Washington D.C. on how cities in the developing world can prepare for projected major increases in population in the years ahead, through better governance and financing for infrastructure and social services.
       Metropolitan Government Finance in Developing Countries, in partnership with the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings will feature more than 30 scholars and practitioners to help government decision makers in developing countries and policy analysts reach a better understanding of how cities might better be financed and governed in order to cope with the coming growth.
       More than half the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, and cities in developing countries have been absorbing many millions of migrating rural poor, often in informal settlements or slums. These cities are expected to double their urban populations in the next 30 years. The key challenges are to get the necessary infrastructure and social services in place, with appropriate policies and institutions in place, and to find the means to pay for both.
            The proceedings of the conference will be published in a Lincoln Institute book in 2012, which will seek to update and complement Urban Public Finance in Developing Countries (Oxford University Press, 1992), the landmark reference volume co-edited by Roy W. Bahl and Johannes Linn. Bahl, Regents Professor of Economics at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, and Linn, nonresident senior fellow at Brookings, organized the conference along with Deborah Wetzel, senior economist at The World Bank, and Yu-Hung Hong and Karin Brandt at the Lincoln Institute.
            Bahl and Linn will both make presentations, on the decentralization of governance in metropolitan areas and the role of external assistance, respectively. Gregory K. Ingram, president of the Lincoln Institute, will present a paper on projected infrastructure needs by sector -- transport, water and sanitation, communications, energy – to address how cities can fund or finance these capital investments.
            The agenda is below.

SESSION I:  URBAN GROWTH, STRUCTURE AND GOVERNANCE
 
Metropolitan Cities: Their Rise, Role and Future
Shahid Yusuf
 
Metropolitan Cities in the National Fiscal Structure
Paul J. Smoke
 
The Decentralization of Governance in Metropolitan Areas
Roy W. Bahl
 
Institutions and Politics of Metropolitan Management
Inder K. Sud
 
SESSION II:  METROPOLITAN PUBLIC FINANCE:  OVERVIEW AND CASE STUDIES
 
Metropolitan Public Finance – An overview
Richard M. Bird and Enid Slack
 
Metropolitan Public Finance – The case of Mumbai
Abhay M. Pethe
 
SESSION III:  METROPOLITAN TAXES AND OTHER REVENUES
 
Property Tax and Land Taxes
Riel C.D. Franzsen and William J. McCluskey
 
Local Non-Property Tax and Other User Charges
Jorge Martinez-Vazquez
 
Grant Financing of Metropolitan Areas
Anwar M. Shah
 
SESSION IV:  FINANCING STRATEGIES FOR SPECIFIC METROPOLITAN INVESTMENT NEEDS
 
Metropolitan Infrastructure and Capital Finance 
Gregory K. Ingram, Zhi Liu and Karin Brandt
 
Slum Upgrading
Maria E. Freire
 
SESSION V:  THE ROLE OF EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE
 
How to Get the Most out of External Assistance
Homi Kharas and Johannes F. Linn
 
          The conference is by invitation. Interested media please contact anthony.flint@lincolninst.edu. / add Brookings TK. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a leading resource for key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land. Providing high-quality education and research, the Institute strives to improve public dialogue and decisions about land policy. The Global Economy and Development program at Brookings aims to shape the U.S. and international policy debate on how to manage globalization and fight global poverty. The program is home to leading scholars from around the world, who use their expertise in international macroeconomics, political economy, international relations and development and environmental economics to tackle some of today’s most pressing development challenges.

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