Matching Items (5)

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Revenue strategies of US states under conditions of economic and political stress: revenues diversification 1980 to 2011

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This dissertation assesses the impact of revenue diversification on state revenue growth and volatility and then, the economic, political and institutional factors that predict diversification. Previous studies, taking advice from

This dissertation assesses the impact of revenue diversification on state revenue growth and volatility and then, the economic, political and institutional factors that predict diversification. Previous studies, taking advice from modern portfolio theory, argue that diversifying a revenue portfolio can stabilize volatility and even lead to faster rates of growth over time. However, levels of diversification are not assigned randomly. Rather, differences among states in diversification might be a consequence of differences in states such as electoral cycles and the presence and strictness of tax limitations. Thus, the research question is: Whether or to what extent has diversification increased revenue growth and decreased volatility when the endogeneity of diversification is considered? Using two-stage least squares and fixed-effects regression models with the data of the 50 states from 1980 to 2011, I examined the impact of diversification, reflecting a state's own political and institutional characteristics (i.e., endogeneity), on growth and volatility. I found diversification was positively related to growth, but a diversified portfolio does not smooth volatility. Furthermore, I found that the level of revenue diversification increased in each year of legislators' terms and decreased in every year of governors' terms. These findings imply that legislators and governors have different preferences for diversification, perhaps due to different opportunities to enhance their reelection prospects. I then investigated the relationship between political leaders' year of the terms and changes in specific revenue sources, the biggest set of reelection opportunities. Selective sales and income taxes were negatively related to every year of legislators' terms. General sales taxes, corporate income taxes, and charges are positively related to every year of governors' terms. The results suggest that legislators focus on their districts or specific interest groups, closely associated with selective sales taxes. In contrast, governors' constituency-driven preferences lead them to be responsible for broader issues such as balancing the state budget, thereby using general sales taxes and charges as methods to do so. As a consequence of these political factors, levels of diversification will change, thereby influencing revenue growth and volatility.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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How do governments make budget cuts during fiscal crises?: a case study of the Arizona Department of Health Services during 2008 fiscal crisis

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ABSTRACT

This research reveals how governments cut budgets during fiscal crises and what pattern may emerge based on the cuts. It addresses a significant gap in literature by looking into the

ABSTRACT

This research reveals how governments cut budgets during fiscal crises and what pattern may emerge based on the cuts. It addresses a significant gap in literature by looking into the details of an agency for a full recession period to explain how cutback requirements were met. Through investigating a large Arizona state agency during the 2008 recession in the United States, the research reveals that cutback management is a stage-by-stage process lagging the immediate deterioration of the state’s economy and that patterns found among cuts are more often rational than not.

Cutbacks in this agency proceeded through three stages: the beginning, middle and the end period of cuts. In each stage, the author used descriptive analysis, process map analysis and cause and effect analysis to explore the features of cuts made. These methods of analysis were used to break down an annual budget reduction into original appropriation budget cuts, mid year reductions and the final budget cuts required to end the fiscal year in balance. In addition, the analytical methods permitted more detailed analysis of specific appropriation line items. The information used was secondary data collected from seven fiscal years around the recession and from various sources, including budgetary materials, legislation, accounting materials and many program reports related to budget cuts.

The findings suggested that across-the-board cuts are implemented at the beginning of cutback stage mainly to non-mandatory programs without jeopardizing the core functions of the agency. Later, in the middle period of the recession, selective cuts are made on large programs. Fund transfers and excess balance transfers are also preferred to reduce the budgets of other restricted funds. At the end stage of budget cuts, new revenue sources are established to support programs which had relied on general fund revenues in the past.

Overall, the cutback process observed in this research reflects decremental and rational patterns of decision making, contrasting with the randomness observed in previous research on cutback management. Across the board cuts are decremental; the remainders are rational, even strategic decisions. This investigation reminds researchers to be aware of the context and the level of observation when analyzing cutbacks.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Government revenue forecasting during exceptional times

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Government revenue forecasting errors have become larger, especially in exceptional times such as the periods surrounding economic recessions. Inaccurate revenue estimates stem from unanticipated revenue increases or decreases from a

Government revenue forecasting errors have become larger, especially in exceptional times such as the periods surrounding economic recessions. Inaccurate revenue estimates stem from unanticipated revenue increases or decreases from a previous trend. Unfortunately, current forecasting methods relying primarily on trend analysis do not incorporate these kinds of sudden changes easily. When revenue punctuations occur, the revenue forecasting errors increase.

To reduce forecasting errors caused by revenue punctuations in government revenue collections, I argued that analysts must not dismiss outliers as extraneous or useless phenomena. My research revealed an approach to incorporate outliers or punctuations into revenue forecasting. First, this research studied the criterion for judging the appearance of revenue punctuations using state governments’ quarterly collections of the five largest taxes from 1977 to 2016. Second, the research explored the patterns of these revenue punctuations, specifically the relationship between the changes in dollar amount and the amount of time from one revenue punctuation to another.

Inspired by the few statistical techniques for identifying outliers, this research applied the studentized residuals method to detect the revenue punctuations. The result revealed that all five tax categories for each state have revenue punctuations, except Motor Fuels Tax in the state of Tennessee.

Furthermore, this research disclosed that while not all the states and all the tax categories have statistically significant relationships between the depth and length of revenue punctuations, some states still have valid relationships. For the states that have statistically significant relationships, a forecaster, knowing depth, could calculate length and vice versa. Thus, the forecasting errors caused by revenue punctuations could be reduced when the protocols my research identified are used.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Fiscal sustainability of local governments: effects of government structure, revenue diversity, and local economic base

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This dissertation develops a framework for the analysis of fiscal sustainability among U.S. local governments. Fiscal sustainability is defined as a type of fiscal condition that allows a government to

This dissertation develops a framework for the analysis of fiscal sustainability among U.S. local governments. Fiscal sustainability is defined as a type of fiscal condition that allows a government to continue service provision now and in the future without introducing disruptive revenue or expenditure patterns. An assessment of local fiscal sustainability is based on three types of indicators: pension liability funding, debt burden, and budgetary balance. Three main factors affect a government's long-term financial condition: government structure, financial structure and performance, and local economic base. This dissertation uses a combination of the U.S. Census Bureau Annual Survey of Government Finances and Employment, the U.S. Census Bureau Decennial Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and the Government Finance Officers Association financial indicators database to study the effects of the three factors on local fiscal sustainability. It is a pioneer effort to use government-wide accounting information from Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports to predict local fiscal sustainability status. The results of econometric models suggest that pension liability funding is most affected by the size of government, debt burden is most strongly associated with the size of local economic base; and budgetary balance is influenced by the degree of local own-source revenue diversification.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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County general fund balances: an exploration into the policies, requirements, size and purposes of county general fund reserves

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This dissertation establishes a national exploration into the subnational fiscal policies of the United States at the county level of government. This dissertation begins a dialog about county fiscal practices

This dissertation establishes a national exploration into the subnational fiscal policies of the United States at the county level of government. This dissertation begins a dialog about county fiscal practices and examines budget stabilization policies of county governments across the country and studies how county governments are codifying the action of setting funds aside for use during times of need. The study moves from the descriptive analysis of counties and explore quantitatively the effects of county government general fund balances and reserve practices over time and documents the reserves, revenue and expenditures of 43 counties across the United States over a five-year period, fiscal years 2012-2016 and utilizes a panel data, fixed-effects model taking into account the political, policy and service-bundles of the counties. Finally, the use of cash rather than debt for capital expenditures also known as pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) is explored through a case study of Maricopa County, Arizona. It examines the theoretical question of intergenerational equity in the funding of capital assets. The study examines Maricopa County's technical, administrative and political pillars of PAYGO, analyzing the financial and budget documents as well as presentation materials given in public meetings regarding the economic and financial condition of both the county government and the county.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018