Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What I've Been Writing

"Will You Stop That Infernal Racket!?!' Externalities and The Simpsons." This is a working paper version of a chapter forthcoming in a book edited by Joshua Hall, titled Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics. I place a great deal of emphasis on the distinction between pecuniary and technological externalities, as well as externalities as a failure of institutions to create property rights.

"Assessor Incentives and Property Assessment." This is forthcoming in the January 2011 Southern Economic Journal. The punchline is that political incentives matter.

"Robustness and Volatility of Community Irrigation Systems: The Case of Taos Valley Acequias." This is forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, and is a co-authored piece with Michael Cox, who defended his dissertation under Elinor Ostrom. Michael is on the job market this year, and his dissertation is a superb contribution to the Bloomington School of Political Economy.

Here is my portion of a Point-Counterpoint debate in the IndyStar over putting property tax caps into the state constitution. This will likely pass the November elections and serve as one of Governor Daniels (R) biggest political victories. I argue against it, as I foresee this as the first step in a takeover of local government functions by state government. In my book, that increases the size of government, contrary to the opinion held by Indiana Republicans.

"Does State Spending on Mental Health Lower Suicide Rates?" This is forthcoming in the Journal of Socio-Economics with Pavel Yakovlev and Fatima Carson. We find that it does after correcting for endogeneity bias, but the effect is very small and is not statistically significant. In fact, spending on welfare has a comparable effect in magnitude terms.

Finally, Josh Hall and I have a paper now published at Public Finance Review on Yardstick Competition and the adoption of local school district income taxes in Ohio. I am adding the emergence of school district income taxes as a piece of a much grander puzzle I have in mind for the economics of local public finance, which will be my first post-tenure project.


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