City Taxes, City Spending

City Taxes, City Spending

Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer

Studies in Fiscal Federalism and State–local Finance series

Edited by Amy Ellen Schwartz

An illustrious group of economists contribute to this volume honoring Dick Netzer, the public finance economist well-known for his research on state and local taxation, the provision of urban public services, and non-profit organizations. Following in his tradition, the contributors apply microeconomics to real world problems facing urban areas and use statistical analysis to gain insight into practical solutions.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Amy Ellen Schwartz

Subjects: economics and finance, public finance, geography, cities, politics and public policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, cities


Amy Ellen Schwartz In 1952, Dick Netzer was awarded the PhD from Harvard University with a dissertation titled ‘Pricing the Transportation Services of State and Local Governments’. That same year, his first academic article, ‘Toll Roads and the Crisis in Highway Finance’, was published in the National Tax Journal. It was to be the first of many articles, chapters and books on a wide range of topics in public finance, urban economics and, later, the economics of the arts and not-for-profit organizations. The hallmark of this work is the application of microeconomics to real world problems and the careful and thoughtful use of economic data and statistical analysis. Dick is, undoubtedly, best known among academics for his work on the property tax. The Economics of the Property Tax, published in 1966, provided a comprehensive analysis of property taxation, discussing incidence, distribution and the economic effects on housing and cities. Dozens of articles and papers followed, exploring and addressing questions and problems regarding property taxation and state and local public finance more generally. The Economics of the Property Tax has become a classic, still found on the shelves of public finance economists and on course syllabi more than 35 years later. His article, ‘The Incidence of the Property Tax: Revisited’, published in 1973, earned him a spot in the National Tax Journal’s Hall of Fame in 1997,1 which included the top ten most cited articles published in that journal. Of course, Dick is also well known for his...