This article is based on one presented at the 2007 Midwest Political Science Association. I gratefully acknowledge the useful comments provided by Ken Bickers, Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Bob Huckfeldt, Emery Lee, Mike McGinnis, Roger Parks, Joe White, and John T. Williams over the course of this project, as well as the comments of the anonymous reviewers. Any errors and omissions remain the sole responsibility of the author. Stata data sets and do-files used for this analysis are available online at http://jmc.msu.edu/faculty/show.asp?id=64.
Deciding to Provide: Local Decisions on Providing Social Welfare
Article first published online: 9 JUL 2010
©2010, Midwest Political Science Association
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 54, Issue 4, pages 906–920, October 2010
How to Cite
Craw, M. (2010), Deciding to Provide: Local Decisions on Providing Social Welfare. American Journal of Political Science, 54: 906–920. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2010.00464.x
- Issue published online: 9 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 9 JUL 2010
Fiscal federalism predicts local governments will avoid social welfare expenditures, owing to capital mobility across local jurisdictions. Yet Census of Governments data consistently show that many local governments provide one or more social welfare functions, and moreover many jurisdictions provide these functions without federal or state intergovernmental support. This article finds evidence that, while local expenditures are largely driven by fiscal capacity and federal and state assistance, local decisions on providing social welfare functions and participating in intergovernmental revenues are primarily affected by degree of capital mobility and by local political factors. Consequently, local governments exercise much greater autonomy over social welfare policymaking than fiscal federalism suggests.