Governance

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.

Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York

Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York
W.W. Norton.

Ballon, H. & Jackson, K.T. eds.
01/01/2007

"We are rebuilding New York, not dispersing and abandoning it": Robert Moses saw himself on a rescue mission to save the city from obsolescence, decentralization, and decline. His vast building program aimed to modernize urban infrastructure, expand the public realm with extensive recreational facilities, remove blight, and make the city more livable for the middle class. This book offers a fresh look at the physical transformation of New York during Moses’s nearly forty-year reign over city building from 1934 to 1968. It is hard to imagine that anyone will ever have the same impact on New York as did Robert Moses. In his various roles in city and state government, he reshaped the fabric of the city, and his legacy continues to touch the lives of all New Yorkers. Revered for most of his life, he is now one of the most controversial figures in the city’s history. Robert Moses and the Modern City is the first major publication devoted to him since Robert Caro’s damning 1974 biography, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. In these pages eight short essays by leading scholars of urban history provide a revised perspective; stunning new photographs offer the first visual record of Moses’s far-reaching building program as it stands today; and a comprehensive catalog of his works is illustrated with a wealth of archival records: photographs of buildings, neighborhoods, and landscapes, of parks, pools, and playgrounds, of demolished neighborhoods and replacement housing and urban renewal projects, of bridges and highways; renderings of rejected designs and controversial projects that were defeated; and views of spectacular models that have not been seen since Moses made them for promotional purposes. Robert Moses and the Modern City captures research undertaken in the last three decades and will stimulate a new round of debate.

Do Fiscal Rules Dampen the Political Business Cycle?

Do Fiscal Rules Dampen the Political Business Cycle?
Public Choice 128: 407-431.

Rose, S.
08/01/2006

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.

Gasoline Prices, Interest Rates, and the 2008 Election

Gasoline Prices, Interest Rates, and the 2008 Election
The New York Observer June

Moss, M.
06/01/2006

Forget immigration, global warning, Donald Rumsfeld and abortion rights.

The hot issues of today will quickly fade away if the current surge in gasoline prices and home-mortgage rates continues unabated. And all indications are that both the price of gas and the cost of borrowing are moving in one direction only: north.

 

When Effort is Threatening: The Influence of the Belief in a Just World on American's Attitudes Toward Anti-Poverty Policy

When Effort is Threatening: The Influence of the Belief in a Just World on American's Attitudes Toward Anti-Poverty Policy
Political Psychology. .

Appelbaum, L.D., Lennon M.C. & Aber, J.L.
05/24/2006

In the political context of the reauthorization of federal welfare reform legislation, a nationally representative sample of 1,570 adults in the United States completed a survey examining the factors that affect attitudes and policy preferences with regard to aid for low-income individuals and families in the United States. This study utilized an innovative survey technique, the factorial survey methodology (Rossi & Nock, 1982), which allows for the simultaneous experimental manipulation of a large number of factors through the use of a vignette. This research demonstrates how the portrayal of difficulties faced by people in need and the ways in which they attempt to overcome these difficulties affect support for policies designed to aid low-income individuals and families. In addition, this study of public attitudes considers the role that psychological orientations of the evaluators play in judgments of families in need. In this case, we examined how the evaluators' belief that the world is a just place influences their evaluations of deservingness. Consistent with our expectations, we found that the more efforts the vignette subject engaged in improving her situation, the less deserving of government benefits she was judged to be by respondents with a strong belief in a just world. The reverse was found among respondents with a weaker belief: more efforts were associated with greater judgments of deservingness.

Old Assumptions, New Realities: The Truth About Wages and Retirement Benefits for Government Employees

Old Assumptions, New Realities: The Truth About Wages and Retirement Benefits for Government Employees
Citizens Budget Commission, April

Brecher, C., Lynam, E. & Spiezio, S.
04/01/2006

Most government workers are paid more than their private sector counterparts, so more generous and expensive
retirement benefits are no longer justified.

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.

 

 

Why Partnerships?: Historical and Legislative Background on Public-Private Partnerships for Surface Transportation

Why Partnerships?: Historical and Legislative Background on Public-Private Partnerships for Surface Transportation
Prepared for Innovative Transportation Financing and Contracting Strategies - Opportunities for NY State, Symposium, March

de Cerreño, A.L.C.
03/01/2006

On March 8, 2006, a symposium was held in Albany, New York, on public-private partnerships or Transportation Development Partnerships (TDP) as they are called in the State of New York. Co-sponsored by the New York State Department of Transportation and the University Transportation Research Center housed at the City College of New York, the symposium attracted over 250 guests who heard from 22 speakers from around the world. This symposium was timely as the federal government is encouraging partnerships for transportation projects, many states have implemented partnership projects, and many more states are aggressively investigating the potential for public-private partnerships. These proceedings are intended to describe the presentations made by the speakers at the symposium and advance the discussion on public-private partnerships in transportation.

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