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Private demands for public capital: evidence from school bond referenda

  • Balsdon, Ed
  • Brunner, Eric J.
  • Rueben, Kim

This paper develops a framework for estimating demand for school infrastructure investment that is financed through local bond referenda. Our framework takes explicit account of the irregular and discrete nature of local capital investment and the objective functions of local school boards. Our empirical model consists of a three-equation system composed of a proposed spending equation, a vote equation, and a selection equation. Estimated income and price elasticities of demand for school infrastructure are similar to those found in studies of current school spending. We also find that school boards act like risk-averse, budget-maximizing agenda-setters.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 54 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 610-638

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:54:y:2003:i:3:p:610-638
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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  1. Banks, Jeffrey S., 1993. "Two-sided uncertainty in the monopoly agenda setter model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 429-444, March.
  2. Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard, 1982. "Median Voters or Budget Maximizers: Evidence from School Expenditure Referenda," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 556-78, October.
  3. Daniel Ingberman, 1985. "Running against the status quo: Institutions for direct democracy referenda and allocations over time," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 19-43, January.
  4. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "Municipal Construction Spending: An Empirical Examination," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 61-84, 03.
  5. Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard & Munley, Vincent G., 1992. "Economic incentives and political institutions: Spending and voting in school budget referenda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-33, October.
  6. Rothstein, Paul, 1994. "Learning the preferences of governments and voters from proposed spending and aggregated votes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 361-389, July.
  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. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
  9. Epple, Dennis & Zelenitz, Allan, 1981. "The Implications of Competition among Jurisdictions: Does Tiebout Need Politics?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1197-1217, December.
  10. Brueckner, Jan K. & Joo, Man-Soo, 1991. "Voting with capitalization," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 453-467, November.
  11. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
  12. Poterba, James M. & Rueben, Kim S., 2001. "Fiscal News, State Budget Rules, and Tax-Exempt Bond Yields," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 537-562, November.
  13. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1993. "State-specific estimates of state and local government capital," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 185-209, April.
  14. Holtz-Eakin, D. & Rosen, H.S., 1989. "The Rationality Of Municipal Capital Spending: Evidence From New Jersey," Discussion Papers 1989_28, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  15. Reid, Gary J., 1990. "The many faces of Tiebout bias in local education demand parameter estimates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 232-254, March.
  16. Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Shapiro, Perry & Roberts, Judith, 1987. "Tiebout Bias and the Demand for Local Public Schooling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 426-37, August.
  17. Sprunger, Philip & Wilson, John Douglas, 1998. "Imperfectly Mobile Households and Durable Local Public Goods: Does the Capitalization Mechanism Work?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 468-492, November.
  18. 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.
  19. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Harvey S. Rosen, 1989. "Municipal Construction Spending: An Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 2989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Rubinfeld, Daniel L. & Shapiro, Perry, 1989. "Micro-estimation of the demand for schooling : Evidence from Michigan and Massachusetts," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 381-398, August.
  21. 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.
  22. Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard, 1979. "Bureaucrats versus Voters: On the Political Economy of Resource Allocation by Direct Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 563-87, November.
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