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Improving Local Governments’ Financial Sustainability by Using Open Government Data: An Application of High-Granularity Estimates of Personal Income Levels in Romania

Vlad-Cosmin Bulai (), Alexandra Horobeț () and Lucian Belascu
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Vlad-Cosmin Bulai: Department of Business and Economics, Faculty of International Business and Economics, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 010374 Bucharest, Romania
Alexandra Horobeț: Department of Business and Economics, Faculty of International Business and Economics, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 010374 Bucharest, Romania

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 20, 1-11

Abstract: The availability of open government data has expanded considerably in recent years. This expansion is expected to generate significant benefits not just for increasing government transparency, but also for the economy. The aim of this study is to illustrate the use of open government data in estimating personal income levels for all 3181 municipalities, towns, and communes in Romania. The novelty of our work comes from the high granularity of the estimates obtained. We use tax revenues collected by local governments in Romania on vehicles and buildings owned by natural persons, as well as data on energy subsidies. The classification is conducted using the k-means clustering algorithm. We find three distinct clusters of communities, which we map. The results can benefit both businesses and policymakers. The former can use the income level estimates for market intelligence purposes, while for the latter, these may aid in determining the financial sustainability of local governments and a better allocation of central government resources at the subnational level.

Keywords: open government data; k-means; clustering; local government (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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