NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Economic Effects of Municipal Government Institutions

Jeffrey S. Zax

NBER Working Paper No. 1657
Issued in July 1985
NBER Program(s):   PE

This paper presents an analysis of employment and compensation practices under alternative institutions of municipal government which demonstrates that institutional variations have significant, important, and predictable effects upon outcomes in municipal labor markets. Municipal institutions in which a single official is responsible for office performance provide that official with incentives to emphasize efficiency in the production of municipal services. Institutions in which responsibility is shared provide individual officials with incentives to emphasize the allocation of municipal resources to their particular constituencies, among whom municipal employees may be prominent. Independently, city managers and mayors chosen through direct election reduce levels of employment and increase employee compensation. Managers offer compensation packages which emphasize nonwage components. In cities which have both institutions, competition between the two nullifies employment reductions and exacerbates compensation increases. Employment increases with the age of the manager's office. City council members chosen through at-large or nonpartisan elections increase levels of both employment and compensation. Compensation packages under both emphasize current components. With both reforms, employment and compensation increases are compounded.

download in pdf format
   (647 K)

download in djvu format
   (349 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (647 K) or DjVu (349 K) (Download viewer) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1657

Published: "Reform City Councils and Municipal Employees," Public Choice, Vol. 64, pp. 167-177, 1990.

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us