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The Impact of Mandates and Tax Limits on Voluntary Contributions to Local Public Services: An Application to Fire-Protection Services

  • Bice, Douglas C.
  • Hoyt, William H.

We examine the impact of state-imposed mandates and fiscal limits on volunteer use and fundraising by local governments. Our model of contributions to local public services predicts that fiscal limits increase both volunteer use and fundraising and that mandates increase volunteer use. These predictions are tested using data on 1,837 fire-protection departments in 28 states in 1993. Our empirical results generally support our theoretical predictions. A fiscal limit makes it 11 percent more likely that a department is volunteer and 14 percent more likely that it engages in fundraising. A mandated pension increases the probability that a department is volunteer by 14 percent and increases the likelihood that it engages in fund-raising by 5 percent.

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Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 53 (2000)
Issue (Month): n. 1 (March)
Pages: 79-104

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:53:y:2000:i:n._1:p:79-104
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  1. Menchik, Paul L. & Weisbrod, Burton A., 1987. "Volunteer labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-183, March.
  2. Kingma, Bruce Robert, 1989. "An Accurate Measurement of the Crowd-Out Effect, Income Effect, and Price Effect for Charitable Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1197-1207, October.
  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. Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
  5. Poterba, James M & Rueben, Kim S, 1995. "The Effect of Property-Tax Limits on Wages and Employment in the Local Public Sector," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 384-89, May.
  6. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor," NBER Working Papers 5435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Burton Abrams & William Dougan, 1986. "The effects of constitutional restraints on governmental spending," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 101-116, January.
  8. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
  9. William D. Duncombe, 1991. "Demand for Local Public Services Revisited: the Case of Fire Protection," Public Finance Review, , vol. 19(4), pages 412-436, October.
  10. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  11. Brueckner, Jan K., 1981. "Congested public goods: The case of fire protection," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 45-58, February.
  12. Harold W. Elder, 1992. "Exploring the Tax Revolt: an Analysis of the Effects of State Tax and Expenditure Limitation Laws," Public Finance Review, , vol. 20(1), pages 47-63, January.
  13. Brown, Eleanor & Lankford, Hamilton, 1992. "Gifts of money and gifts of time estimating the effects of tax prices and available time," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 321-341, April.
  14. Rhine, Sherrie L W, 1989. "The Effect of State Mandates on Student Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 231-35, May.
  15. Case, Anne C. & Rosen, Harvey S. & Hines, James Jr., 1993. "Budget spillovers and fiscal policy interdependence : Evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 285-307, October.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Figlio, David N., 1997. "Did the "tax revolt" reduce school performance?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 245-269, September.
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