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Government expenditure cuts and voluntary activities of citizens: the experience of Japanese municipalities

Kohei Suzuki

Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 2017, vol. 39, issue 4, 258-275

Abstract: The governments of many OECD member countries have resorted to expenditure cuts as a significant response to the global economic crisis. While implementing the cuts, several governments have grown reliant on the voluntary sector in order to manage public services under austerity. Such reliance has not been studied comprehensively with reference especially to the link between the cuts and the voluntary activities of citizens. In response, this study examines the link in 604 Japanese municipalities based on an extensive survey of the local planning and community service departments of these municipalities. The study tests if there is an inverse effect of crowding-out and crowding-in when governments implement expenditure cuts. The findings show that the cuts have been complemented by increased involvement of citizen organisations in voluntary activities.

Date: 2017
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