Who Pays for Government? Descriptive Representation and Exploitative Revenue Sources

Michael W. Sances & Hye Young You, The Journal of Politics
July 2017

“[W]e find municipal governments with higher black populations rely more heavily on fines and fees for revenue. Further, we find that the presence of black city council members significantly reduces—though does not eliminate—this pattern. While data limitations prevent us from implementing more credible designs, the robust relationships we observe are consistent with race playing a crucial causal role in the degree to which cities rely on regressive revenue sources.”

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