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  1. OECD Countries Local Government Fiscal Context, Working Paper 053 [Download]

    Title: OECD Countries Local Government Fiscal Context, Working Paper 053
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Below we present a contextual overview of local government finance in the OECD countries. The overview consists of a set of tables (see below) and discussion of the role of local government in the public sector, the extent of local government autonomy in each of the countries, and the functional assignment of responsibility of the various local government systems (who does what?). The six countries that are the focus of our study are thus placed within the broader context of all OECD countries for which relevant data are available. A more complete discussion of the local government context of the six countries is then included.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  2. National Fiscal Policy and Local Government During the Economic Crisis, Working Paper 052 [Download]

    Title: National Fiscal Policy and Local Government During the Economic Crisis, Working Paper 052
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Funded by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, this report examines how national government policy, and particularly national grant systems, affected local governments during the “Great Recession” and its aftermath, which in many countries consisted of a period of fiscal consolidation designed to cope with a debt/deficit crisis. We term these two events occurring over a four year period from late 2007 through 2011 “the economic crisis.” Our particular concerns are national government policy towards local governments and whether local government fiscal responses were counter- or pro-cyclical during the period of slow or negative economic growth. In other words, did national government policy promote additional local government spending during the recession (a counter-cyclical policy), or did it encourage reduced subnational government spending (a pro-cyclical policy)? We also examine whether local government fiscal policy was consistent with stated national government policy, and whether and how the imposition of fiscal austerity policy and fiscal consolidation programs at the national level affected local government spending.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  3. Explaining the Economic Competitiveness of the District of Columbia, Working Paper 051 [Download]

    Title: Explaining the Economic Competitiveness of the District of Columbia, Working Paper 051
    Author: Young, Garry
    Description: In this report we assess the determinants of city job growth over time. Our focus is on the determinants of job growth in the District of Columbia, and, as a result of our analysis, we project the likely change in job growth in the District over time under various scenarios. The District of Columbia anchors one of the nation’s most dynamic regional economies. From 1990 to 2008 the Washington metropolitan area grew by 27% to over 5.3 million people. In contrast to its surrounding region, the District’s population declined by about 3% from 1990 to 2008, employment grew only slightly from 1990 to 2008, and most of the people holding those jobs reside elsewhere in the region. This same sort of central city/regional difference largely resembles many metropolitan areas across the nation. Central city job loss or slow growth relative to suburban areas is not new as nationally suburbs generally increase jobs at a faster rate than their central cities. Our purpose in this report is to understand the factors that affect the District’s economic competitiveness. Specifically we focus on understanding what affects the location of jobs in the city. Using a statistical model that includes the District and twenty‐two other central cities from 1989 to 2008, we examine the impact of city‐specific factors on city employment while also controlling for the effects of regional economic performance.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  4. Regional Systems and Regional Economic Growth: A Systems Approach to Understanding Regional Economy, Working Paper 046 [Download]

    Title: Regional Systems and Regional Economic Growth: A Systems Approach to Understanding Regional Economy, Working Paper 046
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Our goal in this working paper is to gain a better understanding of how various regional systems interact to bring about metropolitan economic growth. Our focus is thus on the systems that interact to produce regional economic outcomes – namely output, jobs, and income – in other words, economic growth. Below we set forth and describe these various systems – the production system, the land, labor, and housing markets, the transportation system, and the political system – and how they interact. We examine system inputs, outputs, and decision-making processes. We also identify possible problems in each of these systems that reduce the ability of the region to attain higher levels of economic growth and prosperity.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  5. Government, Governance, and Regional Economic Growth, Working Paper 044 [Download]

    Title: Government, Governance, and Regional Economic Growth, Working Paper 044
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: In this chapter we examine how government and governance within metropolitan regions affect regional economies and regional economic growth. We focus on the organization of government and governance within metropolitan regions, on the taxing and spending activities of governments within a region, and on the culture of governmental institutions.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  6. Cluster and Cluster-Based Development: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion, Working Paper 042 [Download]

    Title: Cluster and Cluster-Based Development: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion, Working Paper 042
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Cluster theory and its application and cluster-based economic development policy, have been in the forefront of regional economic development theory and practice during the past decade. Cluster theory suggests that firms that are part of a geographically defined cluster benefit from being a part of that cluster and that these benefits result in growth in economic output for the region. These benefits accrue as a result of co-location or geographic proximity that, in turn, creates lower input costs for firms through agglomeration economies and facilitates knowledge spillovers that produce innovation and increased productivity. Consequently, firms in clusters that generate these benefits will be more competitive, and regions with effective clusters will experience greater growth. As this suggests, clusters are important for understanding and improving regional economic growth. It is important for policy makers and practitioners to understand how and in what ways they do so and what actions they can take to enhance economic growth through generating additional cluster benefits. In particular, since analysis of and policies based on clusters have become a feature of much modern regional economic development policy, it is critical for practitioners to understand the dynamics of clusters and the limitations as well as advantages of employing cluster strategies.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  7. Economic Shocks and Regional Economic Resilience, Working Paper 040 [Download]

    Title: Economic Shocks and Regional Economic Resilience, Working Paper 040
    Author: Hill, Ned
    Description: Economic shocks occur periodically to metropolitan economies, though the effect that these shocks have varies from region to region as does the region’s adjustment and recovery to them. In this paper we examine the nature and extent of these shocks, their effects on regional economies (some regional economies are resistant to shocks, while others suffer substantial downturns), and the resilience of regional economies to these shocks. We are particularly concerned with regional economic resilience: why are some regional economies that are adversely affected by shocks able to recover in a relatively short period of time while others are not?
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  8. Policy Transfer: What We Know About What Transfers, How It Happens, and How to Do It, Working Paper 038 [Download]

    Title: Policy Transfer: What We Know About What Transfers, How It Happens, and How to Do It, Working Paper 038
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Policy transfer is the spread of a policy – or some aspect of a policy – across units of government that occurs as a result of the adopting unit having at least some knowledge of the existence of the policy in other units. It is a subset of the broader term “policy diffusion,” which is the spread of policy across units regardless of whether that spread results from knowledge or from other factors such as convergence – a unit adopting a policy similar to other units because it is responding to similar conditions/problems, even if it is unaware of the existence of the policy elsewhere. Policy transfer thus requires “policy learning.” In this paper I will focus on what we know from the research literature about how policies transfer, what kinds of policies transfer, how policy learning that results in policy transfer takes place and what is known prescriptively about how governments should engage in the process of policy transfer (lesson-drawing).
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  9. Literature Review on the Determinants of Residential Employment, Working Paper 033 [Download]

    Title: Literature Review on the Determinants of Residential Employment, Working Paper 033
    Author: Levy, Alice
    Description: The purpose of this literature review is to summarize the theoretical and empirical literature on the determinants of residential employment. Findings from this literature review will provide the necessary background for our proposal to conduct research on the factors affecting the probability of employment for the residents of Washington, DC. This review is a counterpart to the review by Wolman, Levy, Young, and Blumenthal (2008) also provided to the Office of Revenue Analysis, that focused on the determinants of area economic competitiveness. Here our concern is not with the determinants of the number and types of jobs in the District of Columbia, but with the employment of DC residents, regardless of where they work. While a competitive advantage for the District will provide more opportunities for employment of District residents, the factors that drive residential employment differ from those that determine how many jobs are in a region. Local jobs may go to persons outside of the jurisdiction and local residents may work in jobs that are outside of the jurisdiction. There is little academic literature on employment by place of residence per se. There is however an extensive literature addressing various aspects of employment in ways relevant to residential employment. The focus of our review is on literature that addresses the question of what factors account for the number or percentage of city (or some sub-regional area) residents who are employed or, put in other terms, what are the factors that determine the probability that a resident of a particular sub-regional area will be in employment? The literature that is relevant will thus be research on individual employment generally and employment for particular classes of individuals (by race, gender, age, etc.).
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  10. Comparing Local Government Autonomy Across States, Working Paper 035 [Download]

    Title: Comparing Local Government Autonomy Across States, Working Paper 035
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Local autonomy is a term that is frequently employed in both academic and popular discussions of local government, but it is rarely defined conceptually in a careful way or operationalized and subject to empirical research. In this paper we present a working definition of “local government autonomy” based on dimensions fundamental to the concept, identify variables to operationalize those dimensions, utilize factor analysis to combine those variables into underlying component factors, and create an overall Local Government Autonomy index that can be used as a variable in future research. We also use cluster analysis to create a classification scheme for different forms of local government autonomy. Finally, by using our local government autonomy index and factors as independent variables in a regression model we find they are highly useful for predicating the consequences of related local finance research questions.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015