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Keywords:Local finance 

Journal Article
The expanding geographic reach of retail banking markets

In the view of most policymakers and economists, competition in retail banking takes place in local markets the size of a single county or metropolitan area. This article presents evidence that the locus of banking competition has in recent years shifted to larger geographic arenas. The author's review of 1997 survey data reveals that many banks set uniform rates for both deposits and retail loans across an entire state or broad regions of a large state. Regression analysis of the relationship between retail deposit rates and measures of market concentration further supports this expansion in ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 4 , Issue Jun , Pages 15-34

Report
Reading the fine print: how details matter in tax and expenditure limitations

At least 30 states, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, operate under ?tax and expenditure limitations? (TELs): formula-based budgeting requirements that apply specific limits to expenditures, appropriations, or revenue collections by state or local government. More than a dozen states considered TELs in 2006. Legislation proposing a new TEL to further limit General Fund appropriations in Rhode Island was introduced; Maine citizens will vote on a more restrictive TEL this November. ; Several factors, including a desire for lower taxes and a belief that additional ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 06-3

Report
The quest for cost-efficient local government in New England: what role for regional consolidation?

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many local governments have experienced significant financial strain. Local governments? financial challenges are likely to continue in the foreseeable future, as federal deficit-reducing measures trigger cuts in state and local aid and as all levels of government struggle to fund their medical and retirement obligations. In an effort to maintain service provision without significant tax increases, many cities and towns will be forced to consider a variety of cost-cutting measures, including joint service provision with other localities. ; This ...
New England Public Policy Center Research Report , Paper 13-1

Working Paper
Measuring fiscal disparities across the U. S. states: a representative revenue system/representative expenditure system approach, fiscal year 2002

States and their local governments vary both in their needs to provide basic public services and in their abilities to raise revenues to pay for those services. A joint study by the Tax Policy Center and the New England Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston uses the Representative Revenue System (RRS) and the Representative Expenditure System (RES) frameworks to quantify these disparities across states by comparing each state?s revenue capacity, revenue effort, and necessary expenditures to the average capacity, effort, and need in states across the country for fiscal year 2002. ...
New England Public Policy Center Working Paper , Paper 06-2

Journal Article
Are foundation grant programs a panacea or a problem? (Accountability and education reform, part 3)

Fiscal Facts , Issue Fall , Pages 1-6

Journal Article
Can local governments give citizens what they want? Referendum outcomes in Massachusetts

Economists and political scientists have long debated the nature of the process that determines government taxation and service levels in a democracy. During the 1980s, the role of referenda in determining city and town property taxes, and hence local spending, increased dramatically in Massachusetts. This article uses recent Massachusetts experience to examine the degree to which citizens "get what they want" from the local public sector and what it is they seem to want. ; The passage of Proposition 21/2 in November 1980 signalled both a shift in statewide voter sentiment against local ...
New England Economic Review , Issue May , Pages 3-22

Journal Article
School quality and Massachusetts enrollment shifts in the context of tax limitations

Like most states, Massachusetts underwent a large shift in public school enrollment between the 1980s and 1990s, requiring a number of sizable fiscal and educational adjustments by individual school districts. Between 1980 and 1989, the number of students in kindergarten through grade 12 fell 21 percent, from 1.04 million to 825,000. As children of baby boomers reached school age, the picture changed and enrollments grew more than 90,000 over the next seven years. These aggregate trends gloss over even more marked shifts at the local level. This ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Jul , Pages 3-20

Briefing
State government budgets and the Recovery Act

State and local governments, with revenues reduced sharply by the recession, are responding by cutting services, increasing tax rates, and drawing down reserves; they are also receiving some relief in the form of stimulus funds provided by the federal government. The stimulus funds legislated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act only partly offset the recession-induced shortfalls and are scheduled to phase out before most analysts believe state and local governments will see fiscal recovery well underway. Thus, observers are concerned that the state-local sector will create a ...
Public Policy Brief

Report
How should suburbs help their central cities?

In this paper, we study the question whether suburbs should help finance the core public services of their central cities. We review three arguments that have been offered in favor of suburbs' fiscal assistance to their central cities. First, the central city provides public services that benefit suburban residents. Second, the central city may provide redistributive services to low-income central city residents that benefit suburbanites with redistributive preferences for such transfers. For efficiency, suburbanites should contribute toward such services in proportion to the benefits they ...
Staff Reports , Paper 186

Report
Public infrastructure investments, productivity and welfare in fixed geographic areas

Measures of the value of public investments are critical inputs into the policy process, and aggregate production and cost functions have become the dominant methods of evaluating these benefits. This paper examines the limitations of these approaches in light of applied production and spatial equilibrium theories. A spatial general equilibrium model of an economy with nontraded, localized public goods like infrastructure is proposed, and a method for identifying the role of public capital in firm production and household preferences is derived. Empirical evidence from a sample of large U.S. ...
Staff Reports , Paper 104

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