Semester

Summer

Date of Graduation

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Type

PhD

College

College of Business and Economics

Department

Economics

Committee Chair

Paul J. Speaker

Committee Co-Chair

Roger D. Congleton

Committee Member

Joshua C. Hall

Committee Member

Amanda Ross

Committee Member

Russell S. Sobel

Abstract

This dissertation is a collection of three essays which explores how public choice and public finance issues affect the provision and production of local public goods. This dissertation looks specifically at the provision of forensic science services. Chapter 2 explores the methodology in measuring how public or private a good is, and finds that ignoring the "zoo effect" can cause upward bias in the measurement of how private a good is. Chapter 3 estimates the cost differences between nationally and locally operated forensic science laboratories, and using an average total cost function, determines that nationally operated laboratories are not more or less efficient than sub-national laboratories. Finally, chapter 4 explores the Leviathan model, and finds that governments can, and in the case of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 do, operate in ways that reduce tax revenues.

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