By John M. Quigley
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Extra resources for American Domestic Priorities: An Economic Appraisal
Gramlich's (1982) analysis gives an overview of the likely effects of fiscal reform. 04. Gramlich's estimates of the state-local sector's response to lump-sum, revenuesharing assistance is somewhat lower than that obtained by other researchers (see Inman 1979), but it should be pointed out that his sample covers the state-local experience to 1981 and therefore includes those governments' response to the recent pressure for fiscal responsibility and tax relief. Accepting Gramlich's estimates, we can calculate the aggregate effect of the new federalism on service provision.
Once we begin to study allocations involving more than one policy dimensionsay, education and welfare spendingwe confront a fundamental analytic difficulty. If there are more than two interested voters, such allocations will generally not have a stable equilibrium if budgets are decided by a simple majority-rule process, for there is no identifiable median voter in such cases (see Inman 1984). Yet state-local budgetary choices are often very stable; allocations do not change much from year to year.
As CraigInman (1982) show for education aid, when the federal strings are loosened, the level of state-to-local support can fall significantly (see the comments of state and local officials in National Journal 1982). Finally, voters have not risen to demand reform, and there are two good reasons for this. First, many voters are direct beneficiaries of categorical aid; people do not want to lose the flow of dollars to their redistributive coalition. Some voters, however, do not benefit directly from the present federalized fiscal system.
American Domestic Priorities: An Economic Appraisal by John M. Quigley