The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
Rose, Shanna. 2013. Financing Medicaid: Federalism and the Growth of America’s Health Care Safety Net. University of Michigan Press.
Economic theory suggests that it is optimal for governments to use precautionary saving as a countercyclical tool. However, the availability of surplus funds often triggers political pressure for tax cuts and spending increases. Mechanisms for alleviating that pressure include limiting the transparency of slack resources and limiting politicians' discretion to use slack resources for purposes other than stabilization. This article investigates the extent to which these two mechanisms are substitutes. In particular, the authors examine whether the widespread adoption of budget stabilization funds (BSFs) in the U.S. states over the past several decades has been accompanied by a decline in conservative revenue forecast bias. Using panel data from 47 states over a 22-year period, they find that the adoption of a BSF reduces revenue underestimation by approximately two-thirds; however, the size of the effect depends in part on how much a state saves in the BSF and the rules governing BSF deposits and withdrawals. The results suggest that BSFs have the unintended effect of increasing fiscal transparency.
Rose, S. 2011. Disentangling Accountability and Competence in Elections: Evidence from U.S. Term Limits. With James Alt and Ethan Bueno de Mesquita. The Journal of Politics 73 (1): 171-186.
We exploit variation in U.S. gubernatorial term limits across states and time to empirically estimate two separate effects of elections on government performance. Holding tenure in office constant, differences in performance by reelection-eligible and term-limited incumbents identify an accountability effect: reelection-eligible governors have greater incentives to exert costly effort on behalf of voters. Holding term-limit status constant, differences in performance by incumbents in different terms identify a competence effect: later-term incumbents are more likely to be competent both because they have survived reelection and because they have experience in office. We show that economic growth is higher and taxes, spending, and borrowing costs are lower under reelection-eligible incumbents than under term-limited incumbents (accountability), and under reelected incumbents than under first-term incumbents (competence), all else equal. In addition to improving our understanding of the role of elections in representative democracy, these findings resolve an empirical puzzle about the disappearance of the effect of term limits on gubernatorial performance over time.
Rose, Shanna. 2011. Book review of Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know by Lawrence R. Jacobs and Theda Skocpol. Political Science Quarterly 126(3): 509-510.
Rose, S. 2010. Institutions and Fiscal Sustainability. National Tax Journal 63 (4): 807–838.
As budgetary commitments outpace current revenues and long-term liabilities balloon, the fiscal sustainability of state and local governments is a matter of mounting concern. Over the years, these governments have experimented with a wide variety of political and fiscal institutions, ranging from direct democracy to balanced budget rules, with the goal of slowing the growth of government and increasing financial responsibility. This article synthesizes the related empirical literature, summarizing what we know (and don’t know) about the effectiveness of various rules and procedures in promoting fiscal sustainability.
Rose, Shanna and Dall Forsythe. 2008. Closing State Deficit Requires Prudence. Albany Times Union. December 10, 2008.
Rose, S. 2008. Intergovernmental Aid and Mandates. Political Encyclopedia of U.S. States and Regions. Edited by Donald Haider-Markel. Congressional Quarterly Press. Washington, D.C.
General editor Haider-Markel (U. of Kansas) presents a two-volume encyclopedia intended to serve as a first-stop reference on state politics in the United States, which also includes some coverage of US overseas territories and Puerto Rico. The encyclopedia opens with four broad topical essays on the evolution and impact of state constitutions, the impact of direct democracy (voter initiatives and the like), cooperation between the states, and states as policy testing grounds. It then presents individual state profiles, about ten pages each, that are uniformly structured to allow comparison of state history, the political environment, elections and voting behavior, the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch, intergovernmental relations, state-tribal relations (where applicable), and long-term issues and policy trends. The state entries also include bibliographies; charts showing partisan distribution of presidential elections from 1988 to 2004; and data tables on political history, political environment, elections and voting behavior, the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. Also included are some 175 A-to-Z topical entries discussing general concepts related to governmental functions and procedures, government structures and bodies, political theory, and political behavior. Examples of specific topics would include gerrymandering, impeachment, public health, auditor, bicameralism, legislative leadership, common law, judicial review, and social welfare. Finally, statistical data on populations, economics, finance, the environment, government spending, voting, and campaign fundraising is presented for all 50 states, followed by a comprehensive index.
Rose, S. 2008. The Political Manipulation of U.S. State Rainy Day Funds under Rules versus Discretion. State Politics and Policy Quarterly 8(2): 150-176.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that politicians manipulate rainy day funds for political purposes, but such claims remain untested in the literature. This article finds that lawmakers withdraw nearly three times more funds in response to a deficit shock of a given size if the shock occurs in an election year rather than a non-election year; this occurs despite the fact that the magnitude of shocks does not vary over the electoral cycle. This effect is stronger when incumbents are eligible for re-election than when they are term-limited. When it comes to preventing political manipulation, rainy day fund rules that increase the number of veto players who must approve of withdrawals seem to be more effective than rules that specify the economic conditions under which funds may be withdrawn.
Rose, S. & J. Alt. 2007. Context-Conditional Political Budget Cycles. in Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics, Carles Boix and Susan Stokes, eds, Oxford University Press.
We investigate electorally-induced fluctuations in spending with two questions in mind: "Under what circumstances is it more feasible? Under what circumstances is it more desirable?" Using data on the US states, we find a clear effect of balanced budget laws: states that restrict politicians' ability to issue debt to cover spending shortfalls simply do not exhibit political budget cycles. The probability of re-election also is important: the expected closeness of the upcoming election, measured by moderate levels of gubernatorial job approval, is associated with larger pre-election surges in spending. Low newspaper circulation is also associated with substantially larger budget cycles. Other results (divided government, transparency) did not come out clearly, as they had in some cross-national studies.
Rose, S. 2006. Do Fiscal Rules Dampen the Political Business Cycle? Public Choice 128: 407-431.
This paper develops and tests the theory that fiscal rules limit politicians' ability to manipulate the budget for electoral gain. Using panel data from the American states, I find evidence suggesting that stringent balanced budget rules dampen the political business cycle. That is, while spending rises before and falls after elections in states that can carry deficits into the next fiscal year, this pattern does not exist in states with strict "no-carry" rules. Neither binding gubernatorial term limits nor the partisan composition of government appear to significantly affect the magnitude of the political business cycle.
Alt, J.E., Lassen, D.D. & Rose, S. 2006. The Causes of Fiscal Transparency: Evidence from the American States. IMF Staff Papers, Special Issue, Vol. 53, pp. 30-57.
We use unique panel data on the evolution of transparent budget procedures in the American states over the past three decades to explore the political and economic determinants of fiscal transparency. Our preliminary results suggest that more equal political competition and power sharing are associated with both greater levels of fiscal transparency and increases in fiscal transparency during the sample period. Political polarization is associated with lower transparency, and past fiscal conditions also appear to affect the level of transparency.