Municipal Capital Budgeting: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Sample Illinois Municipalities
thesisposted on 01.08.2021, 00:00 by Farhad Kaab Omeyr
Public infrastructure is the lifeblood of every community and high-quality municipal capital assets facilitate economic development and prosperity. Despite its importance, capital budgeting and spending is often neglected by the responsible governments. As a result, the U.S. state and local infrastructure is degrading and in a state of decay. Using a sample of thirty-two municipal governments in the state of Illinois, this study employs extensive case studies as well as a suit of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) techniques in order to investigate, first, factors that affect approach to municipal capital budgeting, and second, impacts that approach to municipal capital budgeting could have on level of capital and maintenance spending. The results indicate that large municipal governments and/or municipalities where a hired manager – as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) – leads the capital budgeting efforts tend to have a professional and comprehensive approach to capital budgeting, while smaller governments or municipalities with political institutional forms tend to have a more shortsighted and unprofessional approach to capital budgeting. Finally, the results also show that approach to municipal capital budgeting matters and sample governments with a professional approach to capital budgeting do, in fact, have higher infrastructure and maintenance spending than cases with an ad-hoc and unprofessional approach.