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Government Form and Public Spending: Theory and Evidence from US Municipalities

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  • Stephen Coate
  • Brian Knight

Abstract

There are two main forms of government in US cities: council-manager and mayor-council. This paper develops a theory of fiscal policy determination under these two forms. The theory predicts that expected public spending will be lower under mayor-council but that either form of government could be favored by a majority of citizens. The latter prediction means that the theory is consistent with the coexistence of both government forms. Support for the former prediction is found in both a cross-sectional analysis and a panel analysis of changes in government form. (JEL H11, H72, R51)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 82-112

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:82-112

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.3.82
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References

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Cited by:
  1. Alexander Whalley, 2010. "Elected Versus Appointed Policymakers: Evidence from City Treasurers," NBER Working Papers 15643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mark Partridge & Tim Sass, 2011. "The productivity of elected and appointed officials: the case of school superintendents," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 133-149, October.
  3. Gergely Ujhelyi, 2014. "Civil Service Rules and Policy Choices: Evidence from US State Governments," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 338-80, May.
  4. Gergely Ujhelyi, 2012. "Civil Service Reform," Working Papers, Department of Economics, University of Houston 201303216, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  5. Ruben Enikolopov, 2010. "Politicians, Bureaucrats and Targeted Redistribution: The Role of Career Concerns," Working Papers w0148, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  6. Köthenbürger, Marko & Egger, Peter & Smart, Michael, 2013. "Do Electoral Rules Make Legislators Differently Responsive to Fiscal Transfers? Evidence from German Municipalities," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79972, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  7. Peter Egger & Marko Koethenbuerger & Michael Smart, 2010. "Electoral rules and incentive effects of fiscal transfers: evidence from Germany," Working Papers 2010/44, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  8. Garmann, Sebastian, 2013. "Elected or Appointed? How the Nomination Scheme of the City Manager Influences the Effects of Government Fragmentation," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79892, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  9. Ruben Enikolopov, 2011. "Are Bureaucrats Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," Working Papers w0165, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  10. Kessler, Anke, 2010. "Communication in Federal Politics: Universalism, Policy Uniformity, and the Optimal Allocation of Fiscal Authority," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7910, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Edward L. Glaeser, 2012. "Urban Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 18244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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