Beneficial Inequality in the Provision of Municipal Services: Why Rich Neighborhoods Should Get Plowed First

University of Illinois Working Paper No. 00-0104

Posted: 3 Aug 2000

See all articles by John P. Conley

John P. Conley

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Manfred Dix

Tulane University - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 2000

Abstract

This paper provides an explanation for the common observation that higher income neighborhoods typically receive better public services than lower income neighborhoods. Intuitively, one might expect that lower income groups, which typically form the voting majority of cities, would object to an unfair allocation of this nature. Wealthy individuals, however, have the option of moving to the suburbs. As we learn from the tax competition literature, mobile factors are generally able to command a premium. Since institutional constraints prevent regressive taxation, and public goods are by definition consumed in equal quantity all agents, only public services remain as an instrument for municipalities to use to keep wealthy agents in their tax base. We show that both rich and poor agents benefits from this differential access to public service and explore how factors like the ratio of rich to poor and the differences between their income affect the equilibrium allocation.

Note: This is a reprint of this abstract with the co-author's corrected affiliation.

JEL Classification: H72, H73

Suggested Citation

Conley, John P. and Dix, Manfredo A., Beneficial Inequality in the Provision of Municipal Services: Why Rich Neighborhoods Should Get Plowed First (March 2000). University of Illinois Working Paper No. 00-0104, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=224897

John P. Conley (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

Manfredo A. Dix

Tulane University - Department of Economics ( email )

206 Tilton Hall
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
(504)862-8353 (Phone)
(504)865-5869 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
489
PlumX Metrics