How Finland copes with an ageing population: adjusting structures and equalising the financial capabilities of local governments

Pekka Valkama, Lasse Oulasvirta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The study focuses on the challenges of the ageing population in Finnish public
policies related to municipal structures and finances. First, we review how the
impacts of the ageing population have been identified and how necessary policy
responses and reforms of the municipal division in particular have been prioritised by recent central governments. Second, we evaluate how state grant policy has equalised the financial capabilities of municipalities to cope with the financial consequences of the ageing population. Our findings indicate that ageing is believed to increase municipal expenditures because the demand for care services in particular is growing. The analysis also demonstrates that the state grantsystem is capable of substantially equalising the differences in tax bases and spending obligations between municipalities. Nevertheless, central governments have planned ‘big-bang reform proposals’, introducing a completely new tier of democratic government and regionalising the most burdensome welfare services of municipalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-452
JournalLOCAL GOVERNMENT STUDIES
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Aging population
  • Local government sector
  • Fiscal equalisation
  • State grants
  • Municipal division
  • Regional level reform

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

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