What are the effects of the great recession on local governments?


Special issue: The new normal: local governments after the Great Recession

From State and Local Government Review

This special issue documents the crisis affecting city and county governments following the Great Recession.  It examines the severity and potentially lasting changes brought about by the economic downturn and presents new data collected from local government administrators. The lead article documents the profound challenges facing local governments in this new era. In a survey of 580 city and county governments, nearly half cited budget shortfalls as a top problem.  This important new research sheds light on the challenges faced by city and county governments that must provide most basic services. Other articles in this Special Issue take up complementary themes. This Special Issue is a collaboration between SLGR and the National Association of Counties and National League of Cities.



Link to table of contents for special issue

Free access to the lead article
Bruce J. Perlman and, & J. Edwin Benton (2012). Going It Alone
New Survey Data on Economic Recovery Strategies in Local Government State and Local Government Review, 44 (1) : State and Local Government Review


To set the tone for the Special Issue, this article focuses on understanding the total impact of the Great Recession on local governments, predicting whether these impacts will be permanent, and providing explanations for the changes that these governments have made and prescriptions of how to address them and whether it constitutes a “New Normal.” This opening article first reviews the articles in the Special Issue that examine various facets of the “New Normal.” To add substance to this context, data from a recent survey of county and cities are presented and provide timely and useful information on these government’s recovery strategies, patterns of behavior, and responses to the their changed situation brought on by the recession. Finally, this article closes with a consideration of the data against the framework and a call for further research while looking at what these strategies imply about research on new governance arrangements for local governments.

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