Dr. Robert L. Bish
Dr. Robert (Bob) Bish is Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria, where he was Professor of Public Administration and Economics from 1981 through 1998. He was also Co-director of the Local Government Institute from its establishment in 1995 through 2002.
Prior to joining the University of Victoria in 1981, Bob received his A.B. Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California (1964) and MA (1966) and PhD (1968) in Economics from Indiana University and served departments or schools of economics, public Affairs, public administration and urban studies at the universities of Washington (1968-72), Southern California (1972-76) and Maryland (1976-1981). He was one of nineteen economists at Canadian universities included in Mark Blaug and Paul Sturges, first Who's Who in Economics in1983. The editors selected 1000 economists from 1700 to 1980 world-wide based on the frequency with which their published work is cited in economics and related social science journals. Dr. Bish is included in subsequent editions through his retirement.
Dr. Bish’s past research and consulting has included, in the United States, The Office of Technology Assessment, US Congress, The US Departments of Commerce, Transportation, Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development; The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations; the Washington State Legislature; the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority; The Governor's Office, State of California, the National Science Foundation, and in Canada, The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs; The Macdonald Royal Commission; The BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs; The Gitksan-Wet'suwet'en Tribal Council; The Indian Taxation Advisory Board, and various BC government Ministries, local governments, First Nations Governments and incorporation study task forces.
He was also responsible for training municipal officials in local government finance and budgeting as part of an InterAmerican Development Bank project in Guyana, South America in 2001 and 2002.
- Papers on Local Government Organization and Finance
- Papers on First Nation Government and Finance
- Other Publications: Books
- Other Publications: Selected Articles and Chapters
The following three reports summarize questions and evidence on local government amalgamation (consolidation) and evidence as to what is known about the operation of different structures of metropolitan area government.
Amalgamation: Is it the Solution? Prepared for “The Coming Revolution in Local Government” conference sponsored by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 27-29, 1996. (LGI Report 1)
The following publications provide information on the operation of British Columbia's Regional District system, including detailed studies of the Capital Regional District, which at the time of the research included 12 municipalities.
“Accommodating Multiple Boundaries for Local Services: British Columbia’s Local Governance System” Prepared for a colloquium at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, October 21, 2002.(LGI Working Paper 7)
Regional District Review - 1999: Issues and Interjurisdictional Comparisons, Local Government Institute, University of Victoria, and Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Government of British Columbia, September 1999, 44 pp.(LGI Report 8)
The following papers provide analyses of local government finance issues. The first is devoted to issues surrouding the use of variable tax rates in British Columbia; the second was done to provide Canadians with a better understanding of research on recent local government fiscal problems in the United States.
All these papers can also be found on the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics research web page.
The following three reports examine the issue of First Nation taxation of non-member leaseholders on reserves. They also examine the implications of different property assessment criteria for First Nation decision-making.
Many First Nations purchase some government services from other organizations. This report covers in detail what such contracts should include.
This report examines the problems of debt finance for small governments and provides the rationale for the First Nations Finance Authority as a co-op for First Nation debt finance.
The first study was done as background for the Taxation Amendments to the Indian Act It demonstrated that municipalities that were taxing leaseholders on reserve lands within municipal boundaries were not providing proper services to those lands and provided evidence that First Nations should assume tax jurisdiction to go with their service responsibilities. The second study provides detailed case studies and the third is a study of province-wide implications.
Study of the Tax and Service Implications of Bill C-115 (Taxation amendments to the Indian Act), with Eric G. Clemens and Hector G. Topham, Centre for Public Sector Studies, University of Victoria, October 1991. 134 pp.
The following two reports examine First Nation government from a service delivery and federalism perspective.
"Community Models of Indian Government". Prepared for the National Indian Government Conferencehosted by the United Indian councils of the Mississauga and Chippewa Nations and the Center for Research on Public Law and Public Policy, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, Toronto, October 3-5, 1990, 24 pp.
Local Government in British Columbia. Union of BC Municipalities, 1987, 1990, 3rd and 4th editions with Eric G. Clemens, 1999, 2008. 250 pp. (Also published in Mandarin.)
Indian Government: Its Meaning in Practice, with Frank Cassidy. Oolichan Books and The Institute for Research on Public Policy, 1989, 186 pp.
Local Government in the United States, with Vincent and Elinor Ostrom. Institute for Contemporary Studies, San Francisco, 1988, 251 pp. (Substantial revision of the Italian language monograph. Also published in Manadarin.)
Il governo locale negli Stati Uniti (Local Government in the United States) with Vincent and Elinor Ostrom. Milano: Edizioni di Comunita, 1984, 296 pp.
Basic Principles of Political Decentralisation to Local Authorities, Bureau of Economic Policy and Analysis, University of Pretoria, South Africa, 1983, 131 pp.
Governing Puget Sound, MESA Series, University of Washington Sea Grant Program, 1982, 137 pp.
Coastal Resource Use: Decisions on Puget Sound, with Robert Warren, Louis Weschler, Peter Harrison, and James Crutchfield. University of Washington Press, 1975, 206 pp.
Urban Economics and Policy Analysis, with Hugh Nourse. McGraw-Hill, 1975, 435 pp.
Economic Principles and Urban Problems, with Robert Kirk. Prentice-Hall, 1974, 199 pp.
Understanding Urban Government: Metropolitan Reform Reconsidered, with Vincent Ostrom. American Enterprise Institute, 1973, 111 pp. (Also published in Korean.)
Financing Government (7th Edition), with Harold M. Groves. Complete responsibility for revised edition. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973, 534 pp.
The Public Economy of Metropolitan Areas, Rand McNally/Markham, 1971, 176 pp. (Also published in Korean.)
"Vincent Ostrom’s Contributions to Political Economy" Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Vol 44, No. 2 (2013), pp. 227-248.
"The Importance of Prices in Local Government Service Production" FMI (Financial Institute of Canada) Journal, Vol 14, No. 2 (Winter 2003), pp. 1-22.
"Evolutionary Alternatives for Metropolitan Areas: The Capital Region of British Columbia" Canadian Journal of Regional Science, Vol 23, No. 1 (2000), 99.73-87.
"Federalist Theory and Polycentricity: Learning from Local Governments" in Donald P. Racheter and Richard E. Wagner, eds., Limiting Leviathan, Edward Elgar, 1999, pp. 203-220.
"Implementing Aboriginal Self-Government Taxation and Service Responsibility in British Columbia" Canadian Public Administration, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Fall 1996), pp. 451-460.
"Program Evaluation and Contracting Out Government Services" with James C. McDavid, The Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, Vol. 3, No. 1 (April-May 1988), pp. 9-23.
"Federalism: A Market Economics Perspective" Cato Journal, Vol 7, No. 2 (Fall 1987).
"Productivity Increasing Arrangements for Producing Government Services: The Role of Contracting Out". Prepared for the Royal Commission on The Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada (Macdonald Commission). Published in Responses to Economic Change, ed. David Laidler, University of Toronto Press, 1986.
"Public Choice Theory for Comparative Research on Urban Service Delivery" Comparative Urban Research, Vol. VII, No. 1 (1979) pp. 18-26.
"Environmental Resource Management: Public or Private" in Garrett Hardin and John A. Baden, eds., Managing the ommons, Freeman Press, 1977, pp. 217-228.
"Fiscal Equalization Through Court Decisions: Policy Making Without Evidence" in Elinor Ostrom ed., The Delivery of Urban Services: Outcomes of Change, Sage Urban Affairs Annual Reviews, Vol. 10, 1976, pp. 75-102.
"Urban Health, Education and Welfare Programs in a Federal System" in Selma J. Mushkin ed., Services to People: Federal Aids in State Urban Strategies, Public Service Laboratory, Georgetown University, 1974, pp. 127-145.
"Allocating Coastal Resources: Trade-Off and Rationing Processes" with Lyle Craine, Mitchell L. Moss and Robert Warren in Bostwick Ketchum, The Waters Edge: Critical Problems of the Coastal Zone, M.I.T. Press, 1972, pp. 212-245.
"Scale and Monopoly Problems in Urban Government Services" with Robert Warren, Urban Affairs Quarterly, Vol. 8 (September 1972), pp. 97-122.
"Public Housing: The Magnitude and Distribution of Direct Benefits and Effects on Housing Consumption" Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 9, No. 3 (1969), pp. 425-438.