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Sluggishness, Endogeneity and the Demand for Local Public Services

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  • Dahlberg, Matz

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Jacob, Johanna

    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

Earlier studies estimating the demand for local public services by means of the median voter model have typically assumed exogenous regressors and static set-ups. Furthermore, the commonly used log-linear specification of the demand function has in most cases not been supported by a well-defined maximisation problem. In this paper, we investigate whether it is important to control for endogeneity and dynamics in empirical work. Using a panel of 266 Swedish municipalities over the period 1981-1987, our test results show that the regressors are endogenous and that the adjustment process is potentially sluggish. We get significantly lower price- and income elasticities when we control for endogeneity and dynamics. In addition, when we control for endogeneity and dynamics, we can no longer reject the hypothesis that observed behaviour can be rationalised by a Cobb-Douglas utility function. This implies that the log-linear specification of the demand function is valid as long as appropriate econometric techniques are used.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2000:17.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 14 Nov 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2000_017

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Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
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Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: Local public goods; Median voter; Panel data; Endogeneity; Sluggishness;

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References

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  1. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Rosen, Harvey S, 1991. "Municipal Labor Demand in the Presence of Uncertainty: An Econometric Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 276-93, July.
  2. Borge, Lars-Erik & Rattso, Jorn & Sorensen, Rune, 1995. " Local Government Service Production: The Politics of Allocative Sluggishness," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 82(1-2), pages 135-57, January.
  3. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Whitney K. Newey & Harvey S. Rosen, 1987. "The Revenues-Expenditures Nexus: Evidence from Local Government Data," NBER Working Papers 2180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Becker, Elizabeth, 1996. " The Illusion of Fiscal Illusion: Unsticking the Flypaper Effect," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 86(1-2), pages 85-102, January.
  5. Matz Dahlberg & Eva Johansson, 2000. "An examination of the dynamic behaviour of local governments using GMM bootstrapping methods," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 401-416.
  6. Borge, Lars-Erik & Rattso, Jorn, 1995. "Demographic shift, relative costs and the allocation of local public consumption in Norway," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 705-726, December.
  7. Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 1987. "The economics of the local public sector," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 11, pages 571-645 Elsevier.
  8. Bailey, Stephen J & Connolly, Stephen, 1998. " The Flypaper Effect: Identifying Areas for Further Research," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(3-4), pages 335-61, June.
  9. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  10. Robert Inman, 1978. "Testing political economy’s ‘as if’ proposition: is the median income voter really decisive?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 45-65, December.
  11. Aronsson, Thomas & Wikstrom, Magnus, 1996. "Local public expenditure in Sweden a model where the median voter is not necessarily decisive," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1705-1716, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
  14. Muhammed N. Islam & Saud A. Choudhury, 1990. "Testing the Exogeneity of Grants to Local Governments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 676-92, August.
  15. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  16. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  17. Pommerehne, Werner W., 1978. "Institutional approaches to public expenditure : Empirical evidence from Swiss municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 255-280, April.
  18. Matz Dahlberg & Eva Johansson, 1998. "The revenues-expenditures nexus: panel data evidence from Swedish municipalities," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(10), pages 1379-1386.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Vlachos, Jonas, 2005. "Does Labour Market Risk Increase the Size of the Public Sector? Evidence from Swedish Municipalities," CEPR Discussion Papers 5091, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Åsa Ahlin & Eva Johansson, 2001. "Individual Demand for Local Public Schooling: Evidence from Swedish Survey Data," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 331-351, August.
  3. Mörk, Eva, 2003. "The impact of active labor market programs on municipal services," Working Paper Series 2003:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Ismael Sanz & Francisco Javier Velázquez, 2002. "Determinants of the Composition of Government Expenditure by Functions," European Economy Group Working Papers 13, European Economy Group.
  5. Svaleryd, Helena, 2002. "Femal Representation - Is it Important for Policy Decisions?," Research Papers in Economics 2002:7, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.

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