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The Homevoter Hypothesis: How Home Values Influence Local Government Taxation, School Finance, and Land-Use Policies by William A. Fischel

The Homevoter Hypothesis: How Home Values Influence Local Government Taxation, School Finance, and Land-Use Policies by William A. Fischel

Author:William A. Fischel [Fischel, William A.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00


The Race to the Top in

Environmental Protection

THIS CHAPTER and the next explore the implications of the homevoter hypothesis for local efforts to promote and protect the environment. The dominant view by social scientists is that local governments are inadequate to this task. Indeed, a large fraction of commentary suggests that local governments make the problem worse by selling their environmental patrimony for a mess of pottage or, worse, by despoiling their neighbors in pursuit of localized fiscal or employment gains.

I argue that this pessimistic view is wrong both in theory and in practice. Because homeowners are such important players in municipal affairs, and because their assets would be devalued by adverse environmental effects, local governments are apt to err on the side of caution in admitting industry. Concern about their property values more likely fuels a "race to the top" among local governments.



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