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Education, Welfare, and the "New" Federalism: State Budgeting in a Federalist Public Economy

  • Steven G. Craig
  • Robert P. Inman

President Reagan's proposal for a "New Federalism" raises a fundamental challenge to our current structure of Federal-state-local fiscal relations.This research examInes the lIkely consequences of the New Federalism for fiscal allocations by state governments, and attempts to model the impact on both the size of state budgets and on the sectors on which that budget is spent. A political economy model of state budgeting is specified and estimated for a sample of forty-four states for the years 1966-1980.The analysis focuses on the two most visible sectors of state government expenditure, welfare and education, while accounting for the remaining end uses of state funds, other expenditure and taxes. Two general conclusions emerge from the analysis. First, current fiscal allocations by states are significantly influenced by the structure of Federal aid; without Federal matching rules and spending requirements states would choose to spend less on education and welfare services and more on tax relief and the numerous other state activities. Second, the New Federalism, as it relaxes the spending rules and reduces the level of Federal aid, both reduces state education and welfare spending and decreases the aggregate level of state expenditure. We conclude the New Federalism will succeed in reaching its objectives; the government sector will be more decentralized, with the additional consequence of reduced government budgets.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1562.

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Date of creation: Feb 1985
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Craig, Steven G. and Robert P. Inman. "Education, Welfare, and the "New" Federalism: State Budgeting in a Federalist Public Economy." State and Local Public Finance, edited by Harvey S. Rosen. Chicago: UCP, 1986, pp. 187-222.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1562
Note: PE
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  1. 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.
  2. Kramer, Gerald H, 1973. "On a Class of Equilibrium Conditions for Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(2), pages 285-97, March.
  3. Baltagi, Badi H., 1981. "Pooling : An experimental study of alternative testing and estimation procedures in a two-way error component model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 21-49, September.
  4. Craig, Steven G & Inman, Robert P, 1982. "Federal Aid and Public Education: An Empirical Look at the New Fiscal Federalism," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 541-52, November.
  5. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
  6. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Hamilton, Bruce W., 1983. "The flypaper effect and other anomalies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 347-361, December.
  8. Courant, Paul N & Gramlich, Edward M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1979. "Public Employee Market Power and the Level of Government Spending," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 806-17, December.
  9. Moffitt, Robert A., 1984. "The effects of grants-in-aid on state and local expenditures : The case of AFDC," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 279-305, April.
  10. Olsen, Randall J, 1980. "A Least Squares Correction for Selectivity Bias," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(7), pages 1815-20, November.
  11. Edward M. Gramlich & Henry J. Aaron & Michael C. Lovell, 1982. "An Econometric Examination of the New Federalism," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(2), pages 327-370.
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