Local Government Structure and Poverty in U.S. Metropolitan Areas

44 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2011  

Andrew Mark Bennett

Free University of Berlin (FUB) - Department of Law

Date Written: March 6, 2009

Abstract

This study tackles a question largely neglected in the debate in economics about local government structure: What impact does the structure of government have on poverty? Using data from the 2000 Census and the 2002 Census of Governments for 331 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, I model the poverty rate as a function of government structure and other factors and test how the structure of government in U.S. metropolitan areas affects poverty rates. I find that as the number of general-purpose governments per 100,000 population increases, the poverty rate increases. These results offer some support for the conclusion that having more local governments leaves low-income households behind and also present a potential downside to Tiebout’s solution for the provision of public goods.

Suggested Citation

Bennett, Andrew Mark, Local Government Structure and Poverty in U.S. Metropolitan Areas (March 6, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1743854 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1743854

Andrew Mark Bennett (Contact Author)

Free University of Berlin (FUB) - Department of Law ( email )

Boltzmannstr. 3
Berlin, 14195
Germany

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