First published in 1984. This book brings together and develops the economic theory relating to the design and operation of systems of non-central government — positing major developments in several areas. It considers what functions systems most suitably perform in non-central governments, and their appropriate size and structure. How these authorities might finance themselves — by taxes, charges or loans — is analysed in detail. It also examines the use of grants by higher tiers of government and how such programmes should be designed. Concentrating on contemporary economic concerns, it relates the theory to practice in countries such as Australia, Canada, West Germany, the UK and USA.