City Spending and Revenues




J. M. Cohen Term Chair in Economics

Project Summary

Most of the research that Dr. Sieg had me doing was using a dataset titled Fiscally Standardized Cities, which was curated by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. It contained information about various categories of spending and revenues for 150 large cities. With it, we wanted to learn a few things. First, what do basic descriptive statistics reveal about these cities’ spending and revenue collection patterns? Second, what variables (demographic, political, or economic) predict these patterns? We also examined how the amounts spent by Philadelphia, New York, Houston, and Los Angeles for various governance purposes changed each year, and we were accordingly able to draw conclusions about the influence of political ideology and economics on municipal financial behaviors. In doing this research, we gained a better understanding of the heterogeneity in city spending and of the impact of politics, race, age, and geography on city spending.