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Demographic Characteristics and the Public Bundle

Author

Listed:
  • 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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Suggested Citation

  • Cutler, David M & Elmendorf, Douglas W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1993. "Demographic Characteristics and the Public Bundle," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 48(Supplemen), pages 178-198.
  • Handle: RePEc:pfi:pubfin:v:48:y:1993:i:supplement:p:178-98
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schwartz, Amy Ellen, 1993. "Individual production, community characteristics and the provision of local public services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 277-289, February.
    2. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-296, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Anne C. Case & James R. Hines, Jr. & Harvey S. Rosen, 1989. "Copycatting: Fiscal Policies of States and Their Neighbors," NBER Working Papers 3032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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 536-560, June.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:fth:harver:1437 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. Bogart, William T., 1991. "Observable Heterogeneity and the Demand for Local Public Spending," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(2), pages 213-223, June.
    10. 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 943-955, December.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:83:y:1989:i:04:p:1143-1164_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
    14. Lovell, Michael C, 1978. "Spending for Education: The Exercise of Public Choice," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(4), pages 487-495, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence

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