Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel: Fiscal Stress and Uncertainty in Local Government Finance
(Public and Non-Profit Management and Finance)

Friday, November 13, 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Johnson II (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Vincent Reitano, North Carolina State University
Panel Chairs:  Thomas A Birkland, North Carolina State University; William T. Kretzer Professor of Public Policy
Discussants:  Jason Coupet, University of Illinois, Chicago; North Carolina State University and Theodore Arapis, Villanova University

Strategic Fiscal Planning in Local Government: Does It Work and What Matters?
Joseph Cordes, George Washington University and Holly Sun, Howard County, Maryland

The Predictability of Local and State Education Funding: Evidence from Ohio School District Revenue Forecasts
Travis St. Clair, University of Maryland and Stephane Lavertu, The Ohio State University

State and local governments continue to endure fiscal stress in the wake of the Great Recession. In particular, declining property taxes and cuts to intergovernmental revenue have challenged governments to employ austerity while still seeking to maintain adequate and equitable public service provision. To study the effects of recessionary conditions on public financial management, this panel offers four paper proposals from distinct disciplines employing a range of methods. The first two papers are relegated to special purpose local government response to fiscal stress, with each offering an econometric study on a population of school districts from two US states. Both papers also offer methodological insight, with the former testing a newly released generalized negative binomial regression and the latter providing insight into revenue forecasting error. Further, the other papers on the panel explore local governments, focusing on programmatic uncertainty resulting from budget cuts studied via interviews and surveys in addition to balanced budget policies aimed at mitigating recessionary effects. As a result, this timely panel offers methodologically diverse inquiry into governmental response to fiscal stress. All proposal authors, the chair, and two discussants are from a range of universities and offer interdisciplinary expertise in public policy, applied econometrics, public administration, and education finance.