Article

Rules for Distributing a Free Government Service among Areas of a City

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

Justwhatallocation ruledoes, orshould, Isatypical urbangovernment service- predominate intheday-by-day decision fireorpolice protection, orgarbagere- makingisasubject thathasbeenrela- moval, forexample-being rendered evenly tively little explored, atleast byecono- throughout acity? Ifnot, whatalternative mists, compared withtheattention given rules arebeingfollowed? Decisions are tothedistribution ofa certain total of being madecontinually onthespatial al- taxation. Political scientists havebeen location ofinputs: thepolicemen, firemen, moreactive inthisfield, butforstate and sanitation workers. Whomakesthese de- local services asa whole, intheUnited cisions, andwhatrules havetheyadopted? States, theremarksmadetwenty-five Thesequestions haveattracted theatten yearsagostill apply: "Infact, little is - knownaboutdistribution ofgovernment tion ofafeweconomists, andofmanymore services by location, race, religion, in- political scientists. Answershavebeenin- comeclass, orothercategory. Thelaws ferred fromstatistical surveys, butalmost providing fortheservice aresilent inthis nooneseemstohavegonedirectly tothe respect; theauthorizing orappropriating rulemakers, whoever theymaybe,toas- committees oflegislatures donotdiscuss certain theprevailing allocation formulae. it;budgets submitted bytheexecutive say Thepresent papersummarizes themajor nothing abouthowagiven service istobe findings todateandoffers someapprais- distributed amongtheusers. Thissilence alsandsuggestions. reflects inpartasocial propensity todis- criminate covertly inwaysthatarenot 1.Distributing aFixedTotalofan tolerable intaxation" (Shoup, 1964, p.383). UrbanGovernmentService Among Partial exceptions tothis statement are Users tobefoundinthedispensing ofeducation andinprotection against crime. Thegreat Tthelocal level ofgovernment, and changes thathavebeenmadeinthedis- Ato alesser degree atthestate level, tribution ofeducation arewellknown, decisions mustbemadeonhowtodis- however farthatdistribution maystill be tribute afixed amountofacertain ser- fromsomespecific standard. Thedistri- vice, sayfire protection, amongusers. The bution ofprotection bypolice hasbeena decisions normally concern geographical lesspublicized issue, buta considerable groupsofusers, notindividual house- literature inscholarly journals andbooks holdsandbusiness firms.Protection hasdeveloped. Discrimination inthesup- against fire maybegreater orless inone plyofpublic housing, too,hasbeendis- neighborhood thaninanother, butnot cussed. Much,however,remainsun- usually foroneneighbor thanforanother. knownorunresolved, eveninthese fields, Thelevel ofprotection mightbemadethe withrespect totwobasic questions: What samefortwoneighborhoods byshifting rules canbeformulated? N"atrules are somefire-fighting inputs fromtheonearea infactbeingfollowed bythosewhode- totheother. Thismove,however, might termine thedistribution ofurbanser- result inanincrease intotal fire damage vices? overthetwoneighborhoods together, orit Someanswers tothese questions areof- mightbeinconsistent withanequal work- fered inSections IIandIIIbelow. InSec- loadrule, orwithsomeother distributive tion11,alternative rules fordistributing standard. urbanservices areanalyzed andevalu- *Professor Emeritus, ColumbiaUniversity-Cen ated. Thesearerules thathavebeenpro-

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... Another problem for cities is the identification of municipal public services as a priority and the proper balance between social demands and municipal budgets [13]. Consequently, the issues related to public services can be linked to distribution rules or their outcomes [14,15]. ...
... The effective use of modern information technologies and their alignment with government objectives and the expectations of the population constitute strategic elements of public management efficiency improvement [1,12,19]. This efficiency is associated with an appropriate prioritisation that meets the demands of the population and municipal budget, as well as clear definitions related to distribution rules or their outcomes [14,15,22,23]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In the contemporary era of information, it is a critical challenge for city managers to meet the demands of their citizens at the same pace as the development of its information technology resources. Guarapuava is an example of a centennial town that has been predominantly agricultural and now seeks to adjust to the population density and the new information age. Much like Guarapuava, many cities in Brazil and around the world are in a similar condition. The new reality of many towns is challenging for municipal managers. Strategic digital city is the application of information technology resources in the management of the city. The objective of this paper is to analyse the decision-making processes, strategies, public services, information technologies, and relationships with strategic digital city issues in the city of Guarapuava, Parana, Brazil. Using a survey methodology based on the research variables, we showed that the municipality has informal characteristics of the concept of a strategic digital city. Based on the results, the evidence domain types in the city are predominant for internet and colleagues inside the organization on a daily base. Google scholar is the most consulted research source of evidence. Respondents well know the term methodology. Their attitudes towards scientific research show that it is essential for managers and that managers are aware of how to use that technology. Related to evidence-based management the respondents, in general, agreed that using by evidence-based practices, managers can improve the quality of their work, and that this should be part of their formal education. Citizens should be utilised more as a source of evidence as well, as they are the users of the institutions. The strategies are more focused on the government and its administration, however, these strategies could include areas like science and technology. The city offers electronic public services to improve citizens lives, and to be more transparent in sharing information through these alternative channels. The analysis revealed the effort of the town to include citizens in the digital era, and its attempt to connect with them. The research serves as a reference for other municipalities with an interest in analysing projects related to the decision-making process, strategies, information, public services, and use of its IT resources. The study is also a contribution to academic knowledge in relation to the study of public policies related to urban management. Finally, the study contributes to the field of research related to the study of strategic digital city, serving as a basis for future studies in this discipline.
... If the residents of the jurisdiction collectively choose the public level of spending, why then would the level of public goods or services vary within a jurisdiction? The justification for this unequal allocation of resources within a jurisdiction is less obvious. 2 In order to explore this issue, Shoup (1989) defines the objectives of local governments in the provision of fire protection and garbage removal services. He suggests that in income-segregated jurisdictions, for instance, the amount of resources allocated to each of the neighborhoods depends on the objectives of the local government. ...
... 3 As in Hertert's analysis, Rubenstein computes a number of measures of horizontal equity, and he finds, among other things, that there is a fair amount of horizontal equity in the General Fund allocations to Chicago schools. 4 Although Ruben-1 For an exploration of the connection between community characteristics and public spending levels, see Inman (1978), Borcherding and Deacon (1972) and Bergstrom and Goodman (1973). 2 A full model of resource allocation across schools could rely on frameworks like those proposed by Behrman and Craig (1987), Shoup (1989), and Craig and Heikkila (1989). These models take into account the different productivity of public spending across neighborhoods as well as differential neighborhood weights in the social welfare function used by public officials in allocating spending. ...
Article
Full-text available
Considerable research has focused on the allocation of resources across jurisdictions. However, much less work has been directed toward understanding the pattern of intrajurisdictional resource allocation. This study adds to the local public economics literature by carrying out an empirical study of variation in spending per pupil across elementary schools within Texas school districts. Results from estimating a district fixed-effects model reveal that the discretionary resources of school districts are skewed toward schools in low-income, minority neighborhoods, beyond the amounts that would be allocated based on the state aid formula. The findings suggest that attempts by Texas state lawmakers to raise the level of resources allocated to poor schools have been reinforced by district-level decisions regarding intrajurisdictional discretionary spending. However, the dollar magnitude of this incremental funding is relatively small, and hence impacts on educational outcomes are also likely to be small.
... , a detailed analysis of three different school district objectives, namely resource equity, educational outcome equity, and outcome maximization, is presented. For a qualitative discussion of intra-jurisdictional distribution of funds see Shoup (1964) (1989). 6 See Betts (1996), Hanushek (1996), and Hedges and Greenwald (1996) for some recent reviews on the topic. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study estimates the impact of school funding on educational achievement while recognizing that the impact may depend on the pupil’s income background. To estimate the determinants of educational outcomes, we combine school campus-level finance variables together with census information to create a rich array of school level and family background variables. In addition, this study recognizes that funding to a particular school is endogenous. As such, an instrumental variable technique is adopted to measure the impact of school funding on student outcomes. The results suggest that school spending is in fact a significant determinant of pupil outcomes. Furthermore, school spending appears to be diminishing in family income. Therefore, school spending substantially benefits pupils from low-income families, while the impact on pupils from high-income families is smaller.
... This rationale was first put forward by Tiebout (1956), who suggested that fully mobile consumers (voters) would sort themselves into areas where the level of public goods and services maximize their utility (for more recent work along these lines, see for example Brueckner, 2000, Hoxby, 2000, Behrman and Craig, 1987. Second, an unequal allocation of services between areas may result from assigning weights to different groups in the objective function of local Governments and other organizations (e.g., Ravallion and Wodon, 2000, Ajwad, 1999, Shoup, 1989. 2 Third, if the cost of providing public services varies from one area to another, this may also lead to different levels of provision across areas (Hoxby, 1999). This unequal allocation may be observed even if the preferences of the consumers in the various areas are the same, and if local Governments weigh welfare gains equally across regions. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates whether the poor (or those who live in more densely populated areas) benefit more or less than the non-poor (or those who live in less densely populated areas) from an expansion in public services and whether this depends on the type of service provided. Using data from Bolivia, we analyze the allocation of education and basic infrastructure services across jurisdictions. Results indicate that the marginal benefit incidence is higher for the poor than for the non-poor in education, but lower in the case of access to infrastructure services. A model is proposed to suggest that the distribution of the observed marginal benefits from an expansion in the public provision of services is consistent with local Governments maximizing average access rates. This maximization appears to occur without policymakers placing varying distributional weights on the poor and rich in their implicit social welfare function.
... Tiebout (1956) has argued that if the residents of different areas value public services at different levels, varying levels of public provision should be allocated across areas, with voters sorting themselves into areas where the level of public goods and services maximize their utility (for more recent work along these lines, see Brueckner (2000); Hoxby (2000); Behrman and Craig (1987)). An unequal allocation of services between or even within areas (say, by municipality within a department) may also result from assigning weights to different groups in the objective function of local governments (for example, Ravallion and Wodon 2000, Ajwad 1999, Shoup 1989. Another strand of research argues that if the cost of providing public services varies from one area to another, this may also lead to different levels of provision across and within areas (for example, Hoxby 1999; Ajwad and Wodon 2001). ...
Article
Full-text available
Do poor people benefit more or less than the nonpoor from an expansion in access to public services? And do those benefits depend on the existing level of access? Answering these questions is essential to strategies for empowering (or “investing in”) poor people, but the lack of panel data or repeated crosssectional data in poor countries has often made it impossible. This paper proposes a methodology for answering these questions using data from only a single cross-section survey. We argue that the methodology may be useful for monitoring the allocation of public expenditures in a context of decentralization, and we demonstrate this by applying it to local-level data from Bolivia and Paraguay. The results indicate that the marginal benefit incidence is higher (or at least not systematically lower) for the poor than for the nonpoor in education, but this is not the case for many basic infrastructure services. More generally, the poor seem to gain access only once the nonpoor already have high levels of access. This suggests that pro-poor policies must be implemented if the poor are to reap the benefits of gains in access faster.
... Tiebout (1956) has argued that if the residents of different areas value public services at different levels, varying levels of public provision should be allocated across areas, with voters sorting themselves into areas where the level of public goods and services maximize their utility (for more recent work along these lines, see Brueckner (2000); Hoxby (2000); Behrman and Craig (1987)). An unequal allocation of services between or even within areas (say, by municipality within a department) may also result from assigning weights to different groups in the objective function of local governments (for example, Ravallion and Wodon 2000, Ajwad 1999, Shoup 1989. Another strand of research argues that if the cost of providing public services varies from one area to another, this may also lead to different levels of provision across and within areas (for example, Hoxby 1999; Ajwad and Wodon 2001). ...
Article
Full-text available
Do poor people benefit more or less than the nonpoor from an expansion in access to public services? And do those benefits depend on the existing level of access? Answering these questions is essential to strategies for empowering (or "investing in") poor people, but the lack of panel data or repeated crosssectional data in poor countries has often made it impossible. This paper proposes a methodology for answering these questions using data from only a 155 Mohamed Ihsan Ajwad (majwad@worldbank.org) is a Consultant in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management vice presidency of the World Bank. Quentin Wodon (qwodon@worldbank.org) is a Senior Economist in the Latin America and the Caribbean vice presidency of the World Bank.
Article
During the 1980s, many urban areas in the United States experienced a widespread expansion in the use of drugs in general and crack cocaine in particular. This expansion of crack use is thought to have resulted in various behavioral changes, e.g., an increase in crime and an increase in expenditures to reduce drug use. This paper examines how local police spending responded to the spread of crack cocaine. We use a pooled cross- section, time series data set consisting of 18 cities over the period 1982 through 1989 to estimate the impact of crack cocaine use on police spending, and find that police expenditures increased significantly as crack cocaine use rose.
Article
The fragmented decision making of multiple, overlapping governments in response to growth-induced needs for services can result in double taxation. A case study of law enforcement in a suburban county illustrates the double taxation of city residents, who pay for services from both the county and city but mainly receive them from the city. The study improves on previous studies by dividing the unincorporated area into two areas based on intensity of development. The main beneficiaries of the double-taxation subsidy are the unincorporated suburbs. The county government is struggling with the political process of finding a solution to the inequity.
Article
This paper considers whether a number of the motivations for exclusionary zoning usually examined by economists are distinguishable from one another in a general theoretical model. The four motivations identified are: fiscal zoning, public goods zoning, consumption zoning and political economic zoning. It is demonstrated in a general setting that the motivations are observationally equivalent if the only available information is community composition. The most important implication of this finding is that a policy directed at alleviating one motive for zoning inevitably affects other motives. The existence of exclusionary zoning does not constitute a prima facie case for any particular intervention. Rather, the true motivations behind the observed pattern of land use and land-use controls must be identified.
Article
In this paper, we use recent advances in the theory of local public goods to develop more-complete measures of the fiscal impacts of population change. Each fiscal impact measure extends the average-cost-based simple multiplier. The service-based impact measure accounts for the public service production function. The local welfare measure further allows the size of the public budget to vary. The global welfare measure additionally introduces interneighborhood substitution of public services. These four nested measures are calculated for police servims in Vancouver. We demonstrate that the commonly used simple multiplier is an unreliable estimator of fiscal impacts.
Article
We consider the relationship between the cost of public service provision and the distribution of population within a municipality. By making use of small area statistics, we investigate the distribution of population density in Japanese cities. Taking account of the population distribution within a municipality, we estimate the cost function of local public services in the Japanese local public sector. The result shows that compaction of the city reduces per capita cost of public services and that its extent varies across the cities.
Article
Public infrastructure investment may indirectly affect firm productivity and household welfare through its impact on the location of economic activity. Existing infrastructure policies encourage firms and households to move from dense urban environments to the surrounding suburbs. Nevertheless, several recent studies have suggested that the concentration of producers and consumers within cities results in agglomeration economies that are socially beneficial. In light of these findings, the author recommends the creation of infrastructure investment authorities that would have the power to select and finance projects that promote the overall well-being of a given region. Such authorities would most likely direct a larger share of infrastructure investment to the central cities.
Article
Collective goods are usually defined by comparing per-unit cost, net of congestion, under collective and individual provision. This paper examines preference for the form of provision of indivisible goods, arguing that the public/private or collective/individual dichotomy is an artifice of the assumption that shared goods are perfectly divisible. For indivisible goods, collective provision may be preferred when unit-cost is relatively higher and it may be undesired when unit-costs are lower than private; lower per-unit cost is neither a necessary, nor a sufficient condition. The model provides an explanation of Oates' (Journal of Urban Economics, 1988, pp. 85–94) ‘zoo-effect’.
Article
This paper calculates indices of central bank autonomy (CBA) for 163 central banks as of end-2003, and comparable indices for a subgroup of 68 central banks as of the end of the 1980s. The results confirm strong improvements in both economic and political CBA over the past couple of decades, although more progress is needed to boost political autonomy of the central banks in emerging market and developing countries. Our analysis confirms that greater CBA has on average helped to maintain low inflation levels. The paper identifies four broad principles of CBA that have been shared by the majority of countries. Significant differences exist in the area of banking supervision where many central banks have retained a key role. Finally, we discuss the sequencing of reforms to separate the conduct of monetary and fiscal policies. IMF Staff Papers (2009) 56, 263–296. doi:10.1057/imfsp.2008.25; published online 23 September 2008
Article
There is considerable evidence suggesting that the composition of the community – that is, the characteristics of the residents themselves – plays a central role in determining levels of important public outputs such as education and public safety. This paper explores the normative implications of this evidence. We show that optimal community composition involves a trade-off between the gains from homogeneity in demands among residents and the gains from heterogeneity in the production of those goods. The analysis establishes a role for equalizing intergovernmental grants on efficiency grounds: such grants can provide the needed incentives for sustaining heterogeneous communities.
Article
Full-text available
A local governmental welfare function is specified to explore two of its central characteristics: the equity-productivity trade-off and differential weights across neighborhoods. The constrained maximization model is estimated using service outcomes (safety) in the welfare function, as opposed to publicly provided inputs (police), over neighborhoods. The equity-productivity trade-off is found to be considerable, and not all neighborhoods are weighted equally. The results show that inequality aversion and unequal concern by local government over service outcomes must be addressed explicitly to understand the observed distribution of publicly provided inputs, with important implications for standard analysis of local governmental behavior. Copyright 1987 by American Economic Association.
Article
It is premature to reject Lineberry's underclass hypothesis because the internal validity in most previous studies which test it is suspect. With data on the distribution of police expenditures in Boston, Massachusetts in 1971, the authors demonstrate that the methodology employed in analyzing municipal service distributions largely determines the findings. When the internal validity of the research design is improved, the authors find support for both the race preference and power elite aspects of the hypothesis. These findings warrant the exhumation of the underclass hypothesis for further analysis.
Incidence of BudgetingOutlays:Where Do We Go from Here? PublicFinanceOr: Contacting of 394
  • De Wulf
  • Luc
De Wulf,Luc.'Incidence of BudgetingOutlays:Where Do We Go from Here? PublicFinance, 1981, 36, 55-76. No. 1,1982, 80- 10007,$17.50.Or: Contacting of 394. So 100, 1986, 115-128. and Hain, P.O.Box 1764, Processing 74/24. Scott.DemandPro-National Tax Journal, Vol. 42, no. 2, (June, 1989), pp. 103-21
A Compara tiveAnalysisof Distributional Decisions in Cities
  • Abney
  • Thomas P Glenn
  • Lauth
Abney, Glenn,and Thomas P. Lauth. A Compara tiveAnalysisof Distributional Decisions in Cities. JournalofPolitics, 1982,44,193-200