In preparing this study, I have received support from many individuals. First, I thank Scott V. Parris, the Economics Editor of Cambridge University Press, for pleasant and fruitful cooperation, and also three anonymous readers of an earlier version of the manuscript for encouraging me to present a more updated study on several recent developments in the area of local public finance. Next, I benefitted greatly from discussing many topics presented in this book over several years with my various coauthors Wolfram F. Richter, Uwe Walz, and in particular David E. Wildasin. Indeed, it was Dave Wildasin who stimulated my interest in issues of local public finance. Without his support, I would never have written this book.
In addition, I thank Jan K. Brueckner, Helmuth Cremer, Michael Keen, Maurice Marchand, Gordon M. Myers, Wallace E. Oates, Pierre Pestieau, David Pines, Robert M. Schwab, Hans-Werner Sinn, and John D. Wilson for bringing my attention (or providing access) to important published and unpublished work as well as for their comments during the preparation of this book. I also discussed the contents of this study several times with Elke Baumann, Ulrich Hange, Jörg Hülshorst, and Jörg Kroschel, who read the entire manuscript more than once. I thank them for their patience and hope that they forgive me my pedantry. Of course, none of them bears any responsibility for remaining errors and omissions, and it is not their fault if the text lacks the elegance of a native English writer.
Finally, and most importantly, I am grateful to Dorothee for her endless patience and for releasing me from many problems of daily work over a long period of time without giving up her own career.
My thanks to all.