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Journal ArticleDOI

A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures

01 Oct 1956-Journal of Political Economy (The University Press of Chicago)-Vol. 64, Iss: 5, pp 416-424
TL;DR: The authors show that the Musgrave-Samuelson analysis, which is valid for federal expenditures, need not apply to local expenditures, and restate the assumptions made by Musgrave and Samuelson and the central problems with which they deal.
Abstract: NE of the most important recent developments in the area of "applied economic theory" has been the work of Musgrave and Samuelson in public finance theory.2 The two writers agree on what is probably the major point under investigation, namely, that no "market type" solution exists to determine the level of expenditures on public goods. Seemingly, we are faced with the problem of having a rather large portion of our national income allocated in a "non-optimal" way when compared with the private sector. This discussion will show that the Musgrave-Samuelson analysis, which is valid for federal expenditures, need not apply to local expenditures. The plan of the discussion is first to restate the assumptions made by Musgrave and Samuelson and the central problems with which they deal. After looking at a key difference between the federal versus local cases, I shall present a simple model. This model yields a solution for the level of expenditures for local public goods which reflects the preferences of the population more adequately than they can be reflected at the national level. The assumptions of the model will then be relaxed to see what implications are involved. Finally, policy considerations will be discussed.

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a theory of hedonic prices is formulated as a problem in the economics of spatial equilibrium in which the entire set of implicit prices guides both consumer and producer locational decisions in characteristics space.
Abstract: A class of differentiated products is completely described by a vector of objectively measured characteristics. Observed product prices and the specific amounts of characteristics associated with each good define a set of implicit or "hedonic" prices. A theory of hedonic prices is formulated as a problem in the economics of spatial equilibrium in which the entire set of implicit prices guides both consumer and producer locational decisions in characteristics space. Buyer and seller choices, as well as the meaning and nature of market equilibrium, are analyzed. Empirical implications for hedonic price regressions and index number construction are pointed out.

10,206 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: The authors disentangles the separate factors influencing achievement with special attention given to the role of teacher differences and other aspects of schools, and estimates educational production functions based on models of achievement growth with individual fixed effects.
Abstract: Considerable controversy surrounds the impact of schools and teachers on the achievement of students. This paper disentangles the separate factors influencing achievement with special attention given to the role of teacher differences and other aspects of schools. Unique matched panel data from the Harvard/UTD Texas Schools Project permit distinguishing between total effects and the impact of specific, measured components of teachers and schools. While schools are seen to have powerful effects on achievement differences, these effects appear to derive most importantly from variations in teacher quality. A lower bound suggests that variations in teacher quality account for at least 7« percent of the total variation in student achievement, and there are reasons to believe that the true percentage is considerably larger. The subsequent analysis estimates educational production functions based on models of achievement growth with individual fixed effects. It identifies a few systematic factors a negative impact of initial years of teaching and a positive effect of smaller class sizes for low income children in earlier grades but these effects are very small relative to the effects of overall teacher quality differences.

3,882 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors found that in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to "hunker down" and trust (even of one's own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer.
Abstract: Ethnic diversity is increasing in most advanced countries, driven mostly by sharp increases in immigration. In the long run immigration and diversity are likely to have important cultural, economic, fiscal, and developmental benefits. In the short run, however, immigration and ethnic diversity tend to reduce social solidarity and social capital. New evidence from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to ‘hunker down’. Trust (even of one's own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer. In the long run, however, successful immigrant societies have overcome such fragmentation by creating new, cross-cutting forms of social solidarity and more encompassing identities. Illustrations of becoming comfortable with diversity are drawn from the US military, religious institutions, and earlier waves of American immigration.

3,466 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors disentangle the impact of schools and teachers in influencing achievement with special attention given to the potential problems of omitted or mismeasured variables and of student and school selection.
Abstract: This paper disentangles the impact of schools and teachers in influencing achievement with special attention given to the potential problems of omitted or mismeasured variables and of student and school selection. Unique matched panel data from the UTD Texas Schools Project permit the identification of teacher quality based on student performance along with the impact of specific, measured components of teachers and schools. Semiparametric lower bound estimates of the variance in teacher quality based entirely on within-school heterogeneity indicate that teachers have powerful effects on reading and mathematics achievement, though little of the variation in teacher quality is explained by observable characteristics such as education or experience. The results suggest that the effects of a costly ten student reduction in class size are smaller than the benefit of moving one standard deviation up the teacher quality distribution, highlighting the importance of teacher effectiveness in the determination of school quality.

3,076 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: The authors report how the economic variables income, unemployment and inflation affect happiness and how institutional factors, in particular the type of democracy and the extent of government decentralization, systematically influence how satisfied individuals are with their life.
Abstract: Over the past few years, there has been a steadily increasing interest on the part of economists in happiness research. We argue that reported subjective well-being is a satisfactory empirical approximation to individual utility and that happiness research is able to contribute important insights for economics. We report how the economic variables income, unemployment and inflation affect happiness as well as how institutional factors, in particular the type of democracy and the extent of government decentralization, systematically influence how satisfied individuals are with their life. We discuss some of the consequences for economic policy and for economic theory.

3,071 citations

Trending Questions (1)
What are the key concepts of the pure theory of local expenditure?

The key concept of the pure theory of local expenditure is that each locality has a revenue and expenditure pattern that reflects the desires of its residents.