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Demographic Characteristics and the Public Bundle

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  • Cutler, David M
  • Elmendorf, Douglas W
  • Zeckhauser, Richard J

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between the demographic characteristics of a community and the quantities of goods and services provided by its government We consider three models of public spending: a traditional "selfish" public choice model in which individuals care only about themselves, a "community preference" model in which an individual's preferred spending depends on the characteristics of his or her community. and a sorting process through which individuals choose communities according to their tastes for public spending. To evaluate these models of spending, we examine how county and state spending in the United States is affected by the age and racial composition, and the total size of a jurisdiction. The estimated effects of demographic characteristics in the state equations are strikingly different from the estimated effects in the county equations, apparently because a jurisdiction's spending is affected differently by its own demographic characteristics and by the characteristics of the surrounding area.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by in its journal Public Finance = Finances publiques.

Volume (Year): 48 (1993)
Issue (Month): Supplement ()
Pages: 178-98

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Handle: RePEc:pfi:pubfin:v:48:y:1993:i:supplement:p:178-98

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  1. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal & Vincent Munley, 1987. "Economic Incentives and Political Institutions: Spending and Voting in School Budget Agenda," NBER Working Papers 2406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Case, A.C. & Hines, J.R.J. & Rosen, H.S., 1989. "Copycatting: Fiscal Policies Of States And Their Neighbors," Papers 37, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  3. Bogart, William T., 1991. "Observable Heterogeneity and the Demand for Local Public Spending," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(2), pages 213-23, June.
  4. Deacon, Robert T & Shapiro, Perry, 1975. "Private Preference for Collective Goods Revealed Through Voting on Referenda," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 943-55, December.
  5. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Shapiro, Perry, 1982. "Micro-Based Estimates of Demand Functions for Local School Expenditures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1183-1205, September.
  6. repec:fth:harver:1437 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
  8. Lovell, Michael C, 1978. "Spending for Education: The Exercise of Public Choice," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(4), pages 487-95, November.
  9. Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1977. "Voting in a Local School Election: A Micro Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(1), pages 30-42, February.
  10. Gramlich, Edward M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1982. "Micro Estimates of Public Spending Demand Functions and Tests of the Tiebout and Median-Voter Hypotheses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 536-60, June.
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