Working Papers Series (John Glenn College of Public Affairs)

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This collection provides access to digital versions of working papers written by faculty and scholars affiliated with the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. These papers represent work prepared for later publication or presentation to professional meetings. They are circulated in this series for purposes of discussion and comment.


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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    LOST Stability? Consumption Taxes and the Cyclical Variability of State and Local Revenues
    (John Glenn School of Public Affairs, 2010-09) Hou, Yilin; Seligman, Jason S.
    States and localities continue moving towards consumption taxes. Georgia’s local governments displace a portion of their property tax receipts with revenue from the Local Option Sales Tax. This paper employs a panel dataset of Georgia counties across two economic cycles to examine the effects of consumption taxes on the long- and short-run volatility of local own-source revenues. We offer a mean-variance approach for considering correct revenue portfolio shares across tax-instruments. Holding revenues constant we find that permanent substitution towards a consumption tax amplifies variability of own-source revenues, implying that consumption taxes are overweighed in current revenue portfolios.
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    Counterfactual Impact Evaluation of Enterprise Support Policies: An Empirical Application to EU Co-Sponsored, National and Regional Programs
    (John Glenn School of Public Affairs, 2010-07) Bondonio, Daniele; Greenbaum, Robert T.
    While the importance of enterprise support policies in the EU continues to grow, there remains only limited empirical evidence examining the effects of the policies on socially relevant outcomes such as employment. This paper shows how to exploit firm-level data, formed by merging longitudinal employment and firm demographic information with the firm-level archives of the incentive payments, to offer robust counterfactual impact evaluation evidence on the employment effects of the coexisting European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) co-sponsored, national and regional programs commonly operated in many EU regions. The analysis uses data from a large northern Italian region and yields employment impacts of the policies under plausible identification assumptions, disentangling the impacts of different values of both the economic intensities of the program assistance and different forms of assistance (the latter distinguishing between capital grants and below-market interest rate/revolving loans). The paper finds that the absolute per-firm employment effects of the programs are increasingly larger the higher the economic value of the incentives awarded to the assisted firms. The incentives with the highest per-firm economic value, however, yield employment impacts with a much higher cost per each additional new job than incentives with a lower economic value. The results of the analysis also show that the absolute per-firm employment effects of soft loans are similar to those of capital grants. However, taking into consideration that soft loans bear a much lower cost in terms of public money devoted to the subsidies than capital grants, the impact estimates retrieved from analysis indicates that soft loans possess an higher employment effectiveness than capital grants.
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    Using Consumer Information to Improve Recalls
    (John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy and School of Public Policy and Management. The Ohio State University, 2006-04) Hooker, Neil H.; Shang, Wenjing
    Recalls of consumer products have increased in recent years leading to questions about the efficacy of quality control and crisis management and calls for new policies. This paper considers a more active role for food retailers in recalls. A creative policy proposal forwarded in a recent civil action is explored; the use of information technology to identify which consumers have purchased recalled products. The ability to send targeted risk communication messages to affected consumers fits within general trends in customer relationship management (CRM) making it a possible proactive business strategy for interested retailers. Potential privacy concerns related to the use of consumer information in managing recalls are discussed.
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    Privacy and Access to Public Records in the Information Age
    (John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy, 2006-04) Bermann, Sol
    Historically, public records, specifically court-related records, have had some measure of public accessibility. Similar to the right to an open court system, the notion of open records goes to the public's right to observe the goings-on of government which leads to government accountability. At the Federal level, one guarantee of open records is embodied by the Freedom of Information Act. At the state level, records are open or closed according to state law. Online public record access brings a wealth of potential benefits ranging from greater government access and accountability to increased cost-savings and efficiencies. However, due to the presence of highly sensitive, personal data, an increase in public records access also brings potential dangers, including heightened risk of identity theft and frivolous snooping into the affairs of others. How can government embrace the opportunities provided by online public records, but also secure the privacy rights of its citizens? There are four possible approaches to this public records policy dilemma: 1. Provide the broadest access to public records by placing them on the Internet, unmodified from their current paper or electronic format. This maximizes access but minimizes privacy. 2. Review the data elements within the public record files and modify them to protect individual privacy interests (ex: redact social security numbers to help prevent identity theft). A middle ground approach. 3. Create a bifurcated records system that would limit online access to certain private or sensitive information, but leave the complete paper or electronic record available for public review at the record holder's office. Another middle ground approach. 4. Do not place any public records related to citizens online at all. This minimizes access, but maximizes privacy. Expanding on lessons learned from the experiences of the Privacy and Public Access Sub-Committee of the Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Technology and the Courts,6 this paper will discuss how following approach #2, modifying public records laws and rules so that public record information is the same online and off-line, can increase governmental accessibility and accountability, create greater governmental efficiency, all the while retaining individual privacy.
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    Do High Technology Policies Work? An Analysis of High Technology Industry Employment Growth in U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 1988-1998
    (John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy and School of Public Policy and Management. The Ohio State University, 2004-12) Jenkins, J. Craig; Leicht, Kevin T; Jaynes, Arthur
    In the past three decades, federal, state and local governments have launched an array of new high technology development programs. Researchers and policy-makers disagree about the relative merits of these policies as economic development tools. We address two questions: (1) Do these policies affect high technology industry employment net of location and agglomeration factors? (2) Do these policies interact with existing agglomeration advantages to boost high technology industry employment? Using a conditional change score design to examine the effects of seven major high technology policies on the change in high technology industry employment in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) between 1988 and 1998, we find that two programs--technology grant and loan programs, and technology research parks--have direct effects net of controls for location and agglomeration factors. All of these programs, except for SBIRs and technology development programs, positively interact with existing agglomeration advantages to create high technology industry employment growth. Technology development programs compensate for deficits in agglomeration resources. High technology growth is an organic, path-dependent process that depends primarily on location and agglomeration advantages but also can be planned by adapting high technology programs to magnify these local growth advantages.
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    Decomposing the impacts: Lessons from a multistate analysis of enterprise zone programs
    (John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy and School of Public Policy and Management. The Ohio State University, 2005-06) Bondonio, Daniele; Greenbaum, Robert T.
    This paper exploits the exogenous variation of the U.S. state enterprise zone policies to estimate the impact of geographically- targeted tax incentives on a number of dimensions of local economic growth. The econometric analysis uses plant-level data from 11 state programs to sort out growth outcomes into gross flows separately accounted for by new, existing, and vanishing establishments in the target areas. The paper extends the literature by moving beyond a dichotomous treatment indicator to incorporate the contribution of a number common zone policy features. Although the findings of no net mean impacts of the zone programs on various measure of growth is consistent with previous research, the disaggregation into various gross flows and examination of the heterogeneity of policy implementation shows that the impacts of the incentives are more complex. Such analysis also lends itself to a more useful set of policy recommendations.
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    Estimating the Restoration and Modernization Costs of Infrastructure and Facilities
    (2004) Lufkin, Peter; Desai, Anand; Janke, Jay
    Under spending for the maintenance of public facilities and infrastructure is a well-known issue. At least part of the problem can be attributed to our poor understanding of precisely what funding is required. Methodological limitations diminish the credibility of budget estimates that, for many agencies, are based on ad hoc approximations or historical trends. Estimates based on physical inspections are more defensible, but are expensive and more useful for defining remedial projects than estimating future budget requirements. Carefully defining facility restoration and modernization (R&M) requirements yields a collection of determinants—including obsolescence, changing uses, and extraordinary damage—closely related to the concept of economic depreciation. Once this link is made, the methods of economic capital theory are available for understanding R&M needs. More specifically, R&M costs can be estimated using depreciation rates, an approach useful for any large organization requiring credible R&M cost estimates, but unable to bear the costs of frequent physical inspections.
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    Viewing Spatial Consequences of Budgetary Policy Changes
    (John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy and School of Public Policy and Management. The Ohio State University, 2004) Greenbaum, Robert T.; Desai, Anand
    While the research community is often very concerned with the distributional effect of public policy decisions, the geographic distribution of the affected populations is often overlooked. This paper argues that seemingly geographically neutral policies have spatial consequences and that the choice of how to measure them is important. We suggest that maps produced by geographical information systems (GIS) provide a powerful tool for communicating these ideas to policy makers. We further suggest that GIS supplemented by spatial statistics yield geographic information that can perform a valuable function in policy debates. We use the recent proposed changes in Medicaid expenditures in Ohio to illustrate how geographic information provides insights into the spatial consequences of these changes by introducing a simple method to weight the impact of expenditure changes.