Council for Social and Economic Studies P.O. Box 34143 Washington, DC 20043
Home Electronic Version
(Subscribers Only)
Prices / Subscribe
Recent Back Issues Sample Articles About JSPES

JSPES, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Summer 2009)
pp. 244-259

Local Government Investment and Long-Run Economic Growth

Dean Stansel

Lutgert College of Business, Fort Myers, Florida

There has been an international trend towards shifting the provision of public services down to lower levels of government. That decentralization has increased the relative importance of local governments. This paper examines the relationship between spending by those local governments and long-run economic growth. Using a comprehensive data set of all U.S. metropolitan areas, the overall level of local government spending was found to have no significant relationship with economic growth. However, local government investment (capital outlay) and the percent of spending devoted to highways both had a statistically significant positive relationship with growth.