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Journal Article
Will the tobacco settlement payments go up in smoke?

In December 1995, Massachusetts attorney general Scott Harshbarger filed a civil suit against the tobacco industry. The Commonwealths lawsuit charged that the tobacco industry had conducted research into the addictive properties of nicotine and used this research to willfully manipulate the nicotine level of cigarettes in order to addict smokers and increase cigarette sales. The lawsuit asked the court for damages to compensate the Commonwealth for expenditures paid to treat smoking-related illnesses. At the time this litigation was filed, Massachusetts was the fifth state in the nation to ...
Fiscal Facts , Issue Spr , Pages 1-5

Journal Article
Massachusetts in the 1990s: the role of state government

Why another study of Massachusetts state government? In the past year, two Commissions established by the Governor have submitted reports, nonprofit citizen groups have come forth with lists of suggested reforms, and the legislature has had its own proposals. The goal of the study described here is quite different. Rather than offering solutions to the immediate budget problems, this study examines the major expenditures of state government and the forces that caused them to grow so rapidly in Massachusetts during the 1980s. ; For the most part, the Commonwealth has been spending revenues on ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Jan , Pages 15-26

Journal Article
Financing capital expenditures in Massachusetts

Spending on capital projects in Massachusetts has not contributed in any significant fashion to the states budget crisis. During the 1980s the state probably spent too little, rather than too much, on public infrastructure. The states nationwide are caught between the increased requirements of localities and decreased funding from the federal government. The Massachusetts situation is particularly troublesome. The state spent most of the 1980s embroiled in conflict with the Administration over federal funding for the Central Artery Depression! Third Harbor Tunnel project. ; The article ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Mar , Pages 52-79

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
The real estate cycle and the economy: consequences of the Massachusetts boom of 1984-87

The economy of Massachusetts is in a deep recession. What makes the downturn all the more painful is that it comes on the heels of a period of unprecedented prosperity. What happened? How could a state go from having the lowest unemployment rate in the United States to having the second highest in the space of less than four years? ; Some claim that the current recession is a natural and inevitable downturn after a prolonged expansion and that the region soon will return to a reasonable growth path. Others claim that the state is likely to experience a prolonged period of decline. The thesis ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Sep , Pages 37-46

Journal Article
Rating Massachusetts' tax competitiveness

New England Economic Review , Issue Nov , Pages 33-45

Journal Article
Massachusetts' tax competitiveness

One of the most important issues facing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts today is maintaining a hospitable climate for business. If Massachusetts' taxes are deterring firms from locating and expanding within its territory, then the Commonwealth should consider ways of making its tax system less repellent. On the other hand, if its tax system is not such a deterrent, the Commonwealth should devote more attention to issues of greater concern to its employers, such as high unemployment insurance taxes, workers' compensation premiums, health care costs, and energy prices. ; This article presents ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Jan , Pages 31-49

Journal Article
New ways of evaluating state unemployment insurance

Comparisons among state unemployment insurance systems can be misleading. Frequently quoted indicators of the generosity of their benefits, competitiveness, and adherence to the experience-rating principal are influenced by states' relative economic conditions, thereby obscuring underlying structural differences. Moreover, because the indicators are statewide averages, they obscure important intrastate differences in tax and benefit treatment across types of firms and workers. This article offers alternative indicators based on a simulation approach designed to alleviate these problems. The ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Mar , Pages 15-40

Journal Article
Job creation and destruction in Massachusetts: gross flows among industries

The Massachusetts economy has experienced wide swings in employment in the 1990s, losing over 10 percent of existing jobs in the 1990-91 recession (which began locally in 1989) and not surpassing its pre-recession job peak until early 1998. Within individual sectors of the economy, the losses and gains have been even greater, with many manufacturing industries losing jobs almost nonstop while some non-manufacturing industries have expanded markedly. This article examines these employment swings and attempts to better understand their dynamic underpinnings by disaggregating them into the ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Sep , Pages 33-52

Journal Article
Should Massachusetts reform its bank tax?

New England Economic Review , Issue Sep , Pages 23-35


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