Essays on Economic Segregation and Local Public Goods
CitationWeitz, Shanna. 2019. Essays on Economic Segregation and Local Public Goods. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation examines how economic segregation shapes the provision of local public goods. Past research finds that economic segregation affects political attitudes and participation. However, few studies examine how economic segregation shapes local policy outcomes, particularly outcomes concerning local public goods. Using data on local government spending, data on ballot measures on local taxes, and data on the geographic location of affordable housing units, I find that economic segregation shapes local public goods provision in important ways.
The first chapter, "Income Segregation and the Provision of Local Public Goods," shows that economic segregation correlates with an increase in city-level spending on certain policy areas usually preferred by middle- and upper-class residents. The second chapter, "Economic Segregation and Support for Local Taxes: Evidence from Municipal Ballot Measures in California," finds that economic segregation relates to increased support for tax increases dedicated to specific goods and services voted on by residents. I argue that, in economically segregated cities, this increased support comes from residents' decreased trust in local government, particularly in how local governments spend money. Finally, the third chapter, "Partisanship and Affordable Housing: How Democrats and Republicans Geographically Distribute the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program," asks whether partisanship structures the distribution of low-income housing units to economically segregated neighborhoods using administrative data from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program. I find little evidence to support partisan differences in the distribution of low-income housing units to low-poverty or to high-poverty neighborhoods. However, I do find that Republican administrations allocate significantly fewer low-income housing units to a neighborhood as its poverty rate increases. This suggests that partisanship may not necessarily shape the provision and distribution of new housing development for lower-income residents. Together, these findings show that economic segregation has a nuanced but significant relationship with the provision of local public goods.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41121306
- FAS Theses and Dissertations