2021 Public Finance Consortium

Virtual Conference on Politics and Administration in Public Finance

The theme of the Fifth Annual Public Finance Consortium is “Politics and Administration in Public Finance.” In the wake of the recent U.S. election, there is enormous interest in political division, polarization, political geography, constitutional protections of political minorities, and public administration. These topics intersect with public fiscal decision making on innumerable dimensions which this conference seeks to address. Illustrative topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • The politics of deficit spending
  • Conducting tax audits of political actors
  • Extracting revenue across the urban-rural divide
  • Trade-offs in different considerations of “Tax Justice”
  • Allocating expenditures in comparative electoral systems
  • Constitutional rights in taxing political minorities
  • Equity concerns in expenditure choices and/or revenue raising alternatives
  • The administration of fiscal and monetary policy
Attendance limited to 90 registrants.

Schedule for the Fifth Annual Public Finance Consortium: “Politics and Administration in Public Finance”

All events will be held via Gather Town. Details will be provided upon registration.

  • Presentations and Discussions: Keynote Hall (East)
  • Posters: Poster Hall (North)
  • Reception Area: Plaza

7:30-9:00 p.m.

Virtual Reception, BYOB

8:30-8:40 a.m.

Welcome from Siân Mooney, Dean of the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

Session I: Politics and Budgets

8:40-9:20 a.m.

“A Distaste for Deficits: Voter Opinion and Balanced Budget Laws in the US States”

  • Carolyn Abott, Assistant Professor, Department of Government and Politics, St. John’s University

Discussant:  Dan Smith, Associate Professor, Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware

9:20-10:00 a.m.

“Priority Based Budgeting: An Honest Broker Among Municipal Departments?”

  • David Mitchell, Assistant Professor, School of Public Administration, University of Central Florida

Discussant: Katherine Willoughby, Margaret Hughes and Robert T. Golembiewski Professor of Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia

10:00-10:40 a.m.

“Tax Now or Tax Never: Political Optionality and the Case for Current-Assessment Reform”

  • David Gamage, Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University
  • John R. Brooks, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center 

Discussant: Daniel Shaviro, Wayne Perry Professor of Taxation, New York University School of Law

Session II: Sales Tax Incidence

10:55-11:35 a.m.

“Using the COVID-19 Pandemic to Understand Local Sales Tax Base and the Question of ‘Who Pays’”

  • Whitney Afonso, Associate Professor, School of Government, University of North Carolina
  • Jeremy Moulton, Associate Professor, Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina

Discussant: Enda Patrick Hargaden, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

11:35 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

“The Inequality Implications of the Local Option Sales Tax”

  • Felipe A. Lozano-Rojas, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia
  • Michelle L. Lofton, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International Affairs University of Georgia

Discussant: Mike Pagano, Dean, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois, Chicago


12:45-1:45 p.m.

KEYNOTE:

“Vested Interests in Failed Policies”

Casey Mulligan,

Professor, The Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics,

University of Chicago

 

Session III: Fiscal Consequences of Political Structure

2:15-2:55 p.m.

“The Impact of Horizontal Fragmentation on Inter-Municipal Fiscal Equality”

  • Robert E. Hines, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia

Discussant: Christopher Berry, William J. and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor, Harris School of Public Policy and the College, University of Chicago 

2:55-3:35 p.m.

“Does Yardstick Competition Exist Among Overlapping Localities? Evidence on the Fiscal Effects of Direct Democracy”

Discussant: David Brasington, James C. and Caroline Kautz Chair in Political Economy Professor, Department of Economics, University of Cincinnati

Session IV: Applied Topics I

3:50-4:30 p.m.

“Decentralization and Firm Performance: Evidence from China”

  • Denvil Duncan, Associate Professor, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University
  • Yongzheng Liu, Associate Professor, School of Finance, Renmin University of China

Discussant: Zhirong “Jerry” Zhao, Gross Family Professor in Public and Nonprofit Management, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

4:30-5:10 p.m.

“State Electric Vehicle Tax Credits: An Analysis of Incidence and Equity”

  • Peter Bluestone, Senior Research Associate, Center for State and Local Government, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University
  • Robert Buschman, Associate Director and Senior Research Associate, Fiscal Research Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Georgia State University
  • Laura Wheeler, Associate Director, Center for State and Local Government, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

Discussant: Shanthi Ramnath, Senior Policy Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

8:30-8:35 a.m.

Welcome to the Second Day

Session V: Political Leadership and Public Finance

8:35-9:15 a.m.

“Do Top Business Leaders Make Good Governors: A Regression Discontinuity Design”

  • Can Chen, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy and Administration, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, Florida International University

Discussant:  Russell Sobel, Professor of Economics and Entrepreneurship, Baker School of Business, The Citadel

9:15-9:55 a.m.

“Political Party Polarization and US Spending”

  • Carla Flink, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University
  • Soren Jordan, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts, Auburn University

Discussant:  Philip Joyce, Senior Associate Dean and Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland School

9:55-10:35 a.m.

“Decree or Democracy? State Takeovers and Local Government Financial Outcomes”

  • Akheil Singla, Assistant Professor, WATTS: School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University
  • Thomas Luke Spreen, Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
  • Jason Shumberger, Ph.D.  Candidate, School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University

Discussant:  Peter Calcagno, Professor of Economics, College of Charleston

Session VI: Applied Topics II

10:50-11:30 a.m.

“Property Tax Assessment Appeals in the United States Over Time and Across Space”

  • Iuliia Shybalkina, Assistant Professor, Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Kentucky

Discussant: William Doerner, Supervisory Economist, Federal Housing Finance Agency

11:30 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

“State Income Taxes and Entrepreneurship in the Gig Economy”

  • Bradley Heim, Executive Associate Dean and Professor, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University
  • Justin M. Ross, Associate Professor, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University
  • Angela Brunner, Undergraduate Researcher, Marketing Major, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Discussant:  Sally Wallace, Dean and Professor, Andrew Young School of Public Policy, Georgia State University

Keynote Speaker: Casey Mulligan

Casey Mulligan, Professor in Economics, The Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, The University of Chicago, will deliver the keynote speech around his book, You’re Hired: Untold Successes and Failures of a Populist President.

Special thanks to the Conference Program Committee:
Denvil Duncan, Bradley Heim, Craig Johnson, Phil Joyce, Bob Kravchuk, Michael Pagano, Sally Wallace, and Justin Ross (chair)