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Urban Policy: Does Political Structure Matter?

  • David R. Morgan (a1) and John P. Pelissero (a1)

Abstract

An interrupted time-series quasi-experiment is employed to test the basic hypothesis that reformed cities (with city manager, at-large elections, and nonpartisan ballots) tax and spend less than unreformed communities. Eleven cities with populations of 25,000 and above which significantly changed their political structure between 1948 and 1973 are compared with 11 matched control cities that made no changes. We found that over an 11-year period, variations in fiscal behavior were virtually unaffected by changes in city government structure.

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