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Service Provision in the United States: Government Structure and Expenditure, A Study of Single County Metropolitan Areas

Kim, Bonghee (2008) Service Provision in the United States: Government Structure and Expenditure, A Study of Single County Metropolitan Areas. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Metropolitan and urban issues have been of interest to social scientists, policy analysts, and others for some time. This dissertation explores service provision related to government structure, and measurements of these relationships in metropolitan areas, because public service is a primary function of government. To account for different services in different areas, service expenditure and growth in service expenditure are used as the primary variables. Relationships between growth in expenditures and economic-demographic conditions are examined for county government structure.The research method uses single county metropolitan areas to eliminate complications of large, multiple county metropolitan areas, such as multiple states. The study combines content analysis of government and academic documentation on local governance structure and characteristics with quantitative analysis.There are several study findings regarding growth in service expenditure related to government structure and demographic condition. First, structures of government that facilitate managerial competency tend to have lower cost of service provision. Second, expenditure reduction is related to service scope and the type of government providing the service: 1) use of municipal service delivery for jurisdictional-specific services is associated with lower overall service expenditure for the metropolitan area; while 2) use of county services is associated with lower service expenditure for services which benefit from economies of scale; and 3) utilization of special districts is increasing and apparently benefits the tax stream and development finances. Third, in general metropolitan areas with more population in central cities have lower overall service expenditure growth.This dissertation advances the current discussion for improvement of service provision in the following ways. First, it contributes to an understanding of metropolitan area conditions through public service structure and governmental structure. Second, it contributes to the development of a methodological approach for measurement of metropolitan governance. This is accomplished with the concept of "share of service responsibility" for each type of local government and managerial competency. Third, it provides a benchmark of the service structure for multiple-county metropolitan areas.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kim,; bonghee_k@yahoo.comBKIM2
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMiller, David Ydymiller@pitt.eduDYMILLER
Committee MemberFoster, Angela Mamf50@pitt.eduAMF50
Committee MemberDougherty, George Wgwdjr@pitt.eduGWDJR
Committee MemberPaytas, Jerome
Date: 13 May 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 10 April 2008
Approval Date: 13 May 2008
Submission Date: 21 April 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Local Governments--United States; Service Provision--United States; Demographic Condition--Metropolitan Areas; Government Structure--United States; Economic Condition--Metropolitan Areas; Public Expenditure
Other ID:, etd-04212008-222144
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:40
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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