L'approccio economico al federalismo fiscale - Local governance in its broadest form predates the modern nation-state. Contemporary local government arose from historical accident rather than by deliberate design and its subsequent evolution represents the outcome of constitutional reform, legislative change, political opportunism, popular agitation, urbanization, technical progress and a host of many other incidental influences. Scholars from a wide range of different disciplines have nonetheless sought to construct theoretical principles that can explain the nature of local government. We provide a synoptic review of the chief contributions of economics to contemporary understanding of local government in advanced democratic countries. In so doing we consider both normative economic theories of local government, which seek to provide a framework for how local government should be organized, and positive economic theories which attempt to explain why local government functions as it does.