Public Choice

, 149:109 | Cite as

City government structure: are some institutions undersupplied?

  • William M. DoernerEmail author
  • Keith R. Ihlanfeldt


City councilors have a vested interest in maintaining the local government structure that got them elected. This resistance to change may result in non-optimal supplies of particular local political institutions as cities and metropolitan areas experience changes in population and diversity. Using unique data from the State of Florida, we show that there is an undersupply of cities offering larger council sizes. Our evidence also suggests that there is no undersupply of cities with the mayor-council versus the council-manager form of government or cities with at-large versus district election methods.


Local government structure Efficient supply of political institutions 

JEL Classification

D72 D73 H11 H70 R28 


  1. Baqir, R. (2002). Districting and government overspending. Journal of Political Economy, 110, 1318–1354. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baum, C. F., Schaffer, M. E., & Stillman, S. (2003). Instrumental variables and GMM: estimation and testing. Stata Journal, 3, 1–31. Google Scholar
  3. Berry, C. R., & Gersen, J. E. (2009). Fiscal consequences of electoral institutions. The Journal of Law & Economics, 52, 469–495. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brueckner, J. K. (1979). Property values, local public expenditure and economic efficiency. Journal of Public Economics, 11, 223–245. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brueckner, J. K. (1982). A test for allocative efficiency in the local public sector. Journal of Public Economics, 19, 311–331. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cooter, R. (2000). The strategic constitution. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Google Scholar
  7. Eisinger, P. K. (1973). The conditions of protest behavior in American cities. The American Political Science Review, 67, 11–28. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ihlanfeldt, K. R. (2011). Local government structure and the quality of minority neighborhoods. Public Choice, 147, 69–91. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lineberry, R. L., & Fowler, E. P. (1967). Reformism and public policies in American cities. The American Political Science Review, 61, 701–716. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Linneman, P. (1980). Some empirical results on the nature of the hedonic price function for the urban housing market. Journal of Urban Economics, 8, 47–68. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Muth, R. F. (1969). Cities and housing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Google Scholar
  12. Palmquist, R. B. (2005). Property value models. In K.-G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (Eds.), Handbook of environmental economics: Vol. 2. Valuing environmental changes (Chap. 16, pp. 763–819). Amsterdam: Elsevier. Google Scholar
  13. Sass, T. R., & Mehay, S. L. (2003). Minority representation, election method, and policy influence. Economics & Politics, 15, 323–339. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Taagepera, R., & Shugart, M. S. (1989). Seats and votes: the effects and determinants of electoral systems. New Haven: Yale University Press. Google Scholar
  15. Wooldridge, J. M. (2000). Introductory econometrics: a modern approach. Cincinnati: South-Western College. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.DeVoe L. Moore CenterFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

Personalised recommendations