NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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On the Dynamics of Community Development

Levon Barseghyan, Stephen Coate

NBER Working Paper No. 23674
Issued in August 2017
NBER Program(s):Public Economics, Political Economy

This paper presents a dynamic political economy model of community development. In each period, a community invests in a local public good. The community can grow, with new housing supplied by competitive developers. To finance investment, the community can tax residents and issue debt. In each period, fiscal decisions are made by current residents. The community's initial wealth (the value of its stock of public good less its debt) determines how it develops. High initial wealth leads to rapid development. Low initial wealth leads to gradual development that is fueled by community wealth accumulation. Wealth accumulation arises from the desire to attract more households to share the costs of the public good. The long run size of the community can be too large or too small and development may proceed too slowly. Nonetheless, some development occurs and, at all times, public good provision is efficient.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23674

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