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An Analysis of the Economic and Institutional Factors Affecting Recovery by Local Governments from Huricanes

Description: This dissertation examines the impact of major hurricanes on changes in GDP for counties in four states – Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. The analysis examines the effectiveness of intergovernmental financing for major hurricanes between 2000 and 2014. It also examines whether institutional proximity of the disaster management function to the Governor's Office and the career status of the director affect the speed of recovery from the disaster. The analysis also assesses the impact that a counties's prior experience at dealing with disasters has on the speed of recovery.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Short, Jesseca Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Strategic Path to Fiscal Sustainability: Revenue Diversification and the Use of Debt By U.S. Municipal Governments

Description: This work explores the relationship between municipal government debt and revenue diversification using a prism of institutional and fiscal interactions, concentrating on revenue fungibility effects over time and on the role of state-imposed constraints. A diversified revenue structure tends to stabilize revenue levels by balancing income-elastic and inelastic revenue sources. The impact of such diversity has been the subject of much research on expenditure and service levels among state and local governments. Considerably less research has been conducted on its potential relationship with debt, although capital financing is a necessary and often-utilized mechanism for funding capital and operational spending for local governments. Since it is well known that debt payments are fixed in the short run, they require sufficient revenue adequacy through economic highs and lows. It is thus argued that local governments with more diversified revenue structures are better able to utilize debt financing since revenue diversity mitigates the risk of borrowing by providing for greater fiscal predictability in the long run. This hypothesis is tested on two samples - a large sample of cities in Massachusetts from 2000 through 2009, as well as a cross-state sample, encompassing the cities from the majority of U.S. states. The findings of both studies provide preliminary evidence on the influence of revenue diversification on the levels of municipal indebtedness. While the Massachusetts study reveals that revenue diversification is, indeed, a statistically significant determinant of debt per capita, which also has an indirect effect on property tax burdens, the cross-state study suggests that revenue diversification has a mitigating impact on certain state-imposed fiscal rules, further adding to its weight as a strategic financial management tool. Both studies also reiterate the importance of such fiscal capacity factors as fund balances, intergovernmental revenue, and the size of government, while also revealing some new interaction patterns ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Maleckaite, Vaida
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Interactive Effect of Fund Balance and Revenue Diversification on Local Government Fiscal Sustainability

Description: This dissertation explores how cities achieve fiscal sustainability—the financial capacity to consistently meet basic public service responsibilities regardless of economic conditions. Two research questions arise from the interplay between the local economy and fiscal sustainability. First, what management tools do cities use to achieve fiscal sustainability given that economic conditions are largely outside their control? Second, what explains the variation among cities in the financial management tools used to achieve fiscal sustainability? The financial management tools of interest in this study are revenue diversity and the size of the fund balance. It is conjectured that financial management tools interact with each other prompting the tools to function as policy substitutes for each other. Cities achieve fiscal sustainability by strategically choosing budget-balancing tools appropriate to their economic conditions. The study utilizes a cross-state comparison from 351 Massachusetts municipal governments using panel data from 2000 to 2009 and 993 New York municipal governments using panel data from 2001 to 2010. Using theories of fiscal sustainability and revenue diversification, several models are proposed that test the interactive effects of fund balance size and revenue diversity on fiscal sustainability. The results from the empirical analyses show that cities use various financial management tools to stabilize spending during economic downturns. Cities pursue strategies that help maintain fiscal sustainability. Furthermore, it is discovered that interaction of fund balance and revenue diversity on municipal expenditures is stronger as the level of revenue diversity decreases. This interaction has a large effect during periods of economic downturns as compared to periods of economic growth.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Wachira, David W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Interactive Effects of Tax and Expenditure Limitations Stringency with Revenue Diversity and the Council-manager Form of Government on Municipal Expenditures

Description: This dissertation examines the effects of tax and expenditure limitations (TELs) stringency and its interaction with revenue diversity and the council-manager form of government on municipal general fund expenditure. TELs are explicit rules that states impose to reduce local government spending. TELs stringency varies from state to state, leading to difficulties in assessing their impact across the nation. This dissertation proposes a new means for measuring the stringency of TELs imposed on local governments. Factor analysis is utilized, and then factor scores are calculated to identify degrees of TELs stringency. This study contends that higher levels of TELs stringency are associated with lower local government spending. However, the effectiveness of TELs is dependent on revenue diversity and the form of government. This study suggests that both revenue diversity and the council-manager form of government mitigate the impacts of TELs stringency on local government spending. Panel data from 2007 to 2011 from 1,508 municipalities are utilized. This study finds that higher levels of TELs stringency are associated with lower levels of municipal general fund expenditures per capita. However, TELs stringency is effective only when revenue diversity is low and when cities have a form of government other than council-manager. These results are generally consistent with the theory presented in this dissertation.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Jaikampan, Kraiwuth
Partner: UNT Libraries