The determinants of local government performance have long been of interest, and have been empirically investigated in a number of recent studies. A general question in this area is: why have some local governments across the countries achieved high rates of performance whilst the others remained at lower levels? Evidence from the relevant literature indicates that some local governments or municipalities, particularly in developed countries, achieve very good performance. Others, in particular those from underdeveloped or developing, have very little or almost no performance.
This research empirically investigates the budgeting conditions in North Cyprus and evaluate how budgeting conditions vary from one municipality to the other in the five major municipalities; Lefkosa, Magusa, Girne, Guzelyurt and Iskele over the period 2004Q1 to 2012Q4. Two types of methodologies are conducted. First; it empirically investigates the determinants of local government deficit by using cointegration techniques. The Johansen co-integration and The Vector Error Correction model (VECM) are applied to test the effect of each element such as own-source revenue, grants, expenditures and debt services on the budget deficit. Second, the study test the convergence hypothesis if similar regions within the country converge to the same long-run steady state by considering five major Cypriot municipalities in the North Cyprus economy.
The results from the empirical analysis on budget deficit findings show that there is evidence of a long-run relationship between general deficit and its determinants. The evidence of causality is found from expenditure and debt to general deficit for Lefkosa municipality. There is unidirectional causality from grant and revenue through deficit for Magusa municipality. Third empirical analysis on convergence introduced that the municipalities with the lowest number of people per staff, commonly diverge from the group mean.