British Journal of Political Science

Notes and Comments

Residential Mobility in London: Rational Choice Fairy Tale, Utopia or Reality

a1 Department of Government, University of Essex


Once upon a time, and a good time it was too, there was a faraway country ruled by a wise economist-king called Tiebout who realized that the way to happiness was to organize local public services in market-analogous manner. He did this by dividing local government in Tieboutiana into many competing units, each with its own package of public goods and taxes. In this way citizens (in Tieboutiana they were called consumer-voters) could move between local authorities in search of the public services they wanted at tax rates they thought reasonable.