Finance

Financial development and pathways of growth: State branching and deposit insurance laws in the United States from 1900 to 1940

Financial development and pathways of growth: State branching and deposit insurance laws in the United States from 1900 to 1940
Journal of Law and Economics 50 (2007) 239-272.

Dehejia, R.H. & Lleras-Muney, A.
01/01/2007

This paper studies the effect of state-level banking regulation on financial development and on components of state-level growth in the United States from 1900 to 1940. We use these banking laws to assess the findings of a large recent literature that has argued that financial development contributes to economic growth. We contend that the institutional mechanism leading to financial development is important in determining its consequences and that some types of financial development can even retard economic growth.

For the United States from 1900 to 1940, we argue that the financial expansion induced by expanded bank branching accelerated the mechanization of agriculture and spurred growth in manufacturing. In contrast, financial expansions induced by state deposit insurance had negative consequences for both the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

Measuring Equity and Adequacy in School Finance

Measuring Equity and Adequacy in School Finance
Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy. Edited by Ladd, Helen F. and Ted Fiske. Laurence Erlbaum Associates, New York,

Downes, T. & Stiefel, L.
01/01/2007

The Handbook traces the evolution of the field from its initial focus on school inputs (per pupil expenditures) and the revenue sources (property taxes, state aid programs, etc) used to finance these inputs to a focus on educational outcomes (student achievement) and the larger policies used to achieve them. It shows how the current decision-making context in school finance inevitably interacts with those of governance, accountability, equity, privatization, and other areas of education policy. Because a full understanding of the important contemporary issues requires inputs from a variety of perspectives, the Handbook draws on contributors from a variety of disciplines.

The Armonk Agenda: Next Steps for Fiscal Reform in New York State

The Armonk Agenda: Next Steps for Fiscal Reform in New York State
Citizens Budget Commission, October

Harvey, D., Lynam, E. & Brecher, C.
10/01/2006

On April 7-8, 2006, the Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) convened a conference in Armonk, New York with the goal of identifying widely supported, high-priority measures for fiscal reform in New York State. This document highlights those measures in order to raise awareness and promote discussion of them in the coming year.

Two Wrongs Do Not Make a Right

Two Wrongs Do Not Make a Right
National Tax Journal, Sep 2006, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p491-508, 18p.

Furman, J.
09/01/2006

This paper analyzes proposals to remedy tax-induced distortions in health care by using new tax incentives and retaining all of the existing distortionary tax incentives. In the process of remedying some distortions, this approach magnifies others--most notably increasing the total tax preference for health care. The paper considers two examples--the Bush administration's FY 2007 budget proposal and a plan by Cogan, Hubbard and Kessler (2005)--and shows that both could result in higher health spending and reduced welfare. Finally, the paper discusses the circumstances in which tax incentives could be warranted to remedy market failures in health insurance.

Danger Ahead! How to Balance the MTA’s Budget

Danger Ahead! How to Balance the MTA’s Budget
Citizens Budget Commission, June

Brecher, C.
06/01/2006

Despite its essential role in sustaining the New York economy, the MTA is not financed in a consistent or sensible
manner. Specifically, the financing arrangements for the MTA result in:
Problem 1: Repeated operating deficits.
Problem 2: Capital investments insufficient to bring its facilities to a state of good repair.

In order for New York to maintain a strong and vibrant economy, its transportation system has to be kept up to par and expanded to meet future needs. This report examines the two problems and suggests alternative financing policies for the MTA that would balance its operating budget and provide sufficient capital to accelerate the pace at which its facilities are brought to a state of good repair.

The next section describes the vital role of the MTA in transporting people to their jobs in New York's central business district. The following sections explain the MTA's problems identified above, present the CBC's guidelines for funding the MTA services in the future, and estimate the agency's expenditure and revenue requirements under those guidelines. The final section deals with options for meeting revenue requirements by increasing cross subsides from auto users.

Public Authorities in New York State.

Public Authorities in New York State.
Citizens Budget Commission, April

Brecher, C. & Brill, J.
04/01/2006

Public authorities play a major role in delivering public services. They supplement direct government agencies in three ways:

• Provide a business-like organizational structure for public services that are financed primarily by user fees and whose capital investments are self-financed through bonds supported by user fees.
• Provide a stewardship for major capital assets and make long-run investment decisions with some isolation from pressures of the electoral cycle.
• Provide a mechanism for taking advantage of federal tax benefits for economic development and other purposes that otherwise would be treated as private activities.

Authorities are intended to strike a balance between political accountability and political independence. Unlike heads of direct government agencies, governing boards of authorities are expected to be more independent of those who appoint them, to make difficult and unpopular decisions outside the arena of elected politics, and to be accountable to the public indirectly through reporting, transparency in decision-making and long-run performance. New York State makes extensive use of public authorities.

 

 

Financing Pro-poor Governance in Africa

Financing Pro-poor Governance in Africa
in Karen Millet, Dele Olowu and Robert Cameron (eds), Local Governance and Poverty Reduction in Africa (Tunis: Joint Africa Institute of the African Development Bank)

Smoke, P.
01/01/2006

Defines key lessons on financing pro-poor governance based on cases from Latin America, Asia and Africa (Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya and Uganda). The starting point for pro-poor fiscal decentralisation is that its major goals should be improved governance and performance, specifically, higher efficiency and equity in service delivery, economic development, and poverty alleviation. The enabling environment for fiscal decentralisation involves first the functions and the resources that might normally be allocated to local governments. Second, it can include alternative models and mechanisms to finance local governments, including intergovernmental transfers, markets, capital and donor financing.

Is Retirement Being Remade? Developments in Labor Market Patterns at Older Ages

Is Retirement Being Remade? Developments in Labor Market Patterns at Older Ages
Managing Retirement Payouts edited by John Amerikis and Olivia Mitchell.

Chan, S.
01/01/2006

As Baby Boomers make the transition into their 60s, they have focused policymakers and the media's attention onto how this generation will manage the retirement phase of its lifetime. This volume acknowledges that many, though not all, in this older cohort have accumulated substantial assets, so for them, the question is what will they do with what they have?

We offer a detailed exploration of how people entering retirement will deploy their accumulated assets in the near and long term, so to best meet their myriad spending, investment, and other objectives. The book offers readers an invaluable study of emerging issues regarding assets and expectations on the verge of retirement, including uncertainty regarding life expectancy and morbidity. It is composed of chapters from a distinguished set of authors including a Nobel Laureate and a wonderful mix of academics and practitioners from the legal, financial, and economic fields.

 

New York’s Endangered Future: Debt Beyond Our Means

New York’s Endangered Future: Debt Beyond Our Means
Citizens Budget Commission, September

Brecher, C. & Lynam, E.
09/01/2005

New York State has too much debt. Its obligations will require current and future taxpayers to bear a burden that creates a competitive disadvantage with the other states. Not only is the absolute amount of New York's debt high, but the burden is excessive even after the State's relatively large tax base and other relevant factors are taken into account.

The core issue is that New York has no effective legal limits on the amount of debt it can assume. Constitutional provisions intended to limit debt are outdated and are circumvented regularly. Statutory limits - passed in 2000 - are also being circumvented. Simply put, it has become too easy for State leaders to borrow. In addition, they have misused debt, which should be restricted to paying for long-term capital projects, by financing annual operating expenses.

Short-run and long-run measures are needed. In the near term, voters should reject bond referendums such as the Transportation Bond Act of 2005 until debt is brought under control. That act would authorize only $2.9 billion of an additional $13 billion in planned State borrowing, but it is the only opportunity that voters have to express their opposition to excessive borrowing. In the long-run the State must strike a balance between adequate infrastructure investment and a competitive debt burden. The State needs a new constitutional limit that does not require voter approval for every debt issuance, but does impose a binding limit that is linked to ability to pay.

 

Evidence Based Financial Management - What Are We Waiting For?

Evidence Based Financial Management - What Are We Waiting For?
Research in Healthcare Financial Management, Vol. 9, No. 1,

Finkler, S.A.
06/01/2005

Comments on the use of evidence-based approach in the area of health care financial management. Limitation of benchmarking; Barriers to the introduction of evidence-based financial management in health care; Responsibility of health care financial management educators.

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