Right-sizing Cities in the United States: Defining its strategies

Journal of Urban Affairs (Vol. 37 / No. 4, pp. 397 - 409: 2015)

This article explores the right-sizing paradigm. Currently, in the growing literature on
the right-sizing conception of planning there are not any clearly delineated strategies on what it means to right-size. Right-sizing strategies are clearly articulated in this article in an effort to understand this paradigm in a more comprehensive fashion. This is not being done among scholars in this field and is necessary to determine empirically if these strategies improve the quality of life in shrinking cities. The purpose of this article is to provide a source for researchers attempting to assess the various right-sizing efforts across the United States. The strategies in this article are not final; additional strategies could be included later under the right-sizing planning conception. At this stage in the literature, five major built environment strategies are the most cited: land banking, rehabilitation, demolition, consolidation, and “greening.”

Traffic Tickets: Public Safety Concerns or Budget Building Tools

Administration & Society (Vol. 47 / No. 3, pp. 298 - 319: 2015)

States and municipalities across the country are struggling to match revenues
with expenditures. Sometimes these governments use traffic fines and fees to
help balance the budget more so at the city level than at the state level. This
article explores the rationale for the issuance of traffic tickets and provides a
state-level analysis on the occurrence of tickets and its relation with budget
or public safety factors. Utilizing a cross-sectional multiple regression with
lags, it was found that public safety concerns as evident in fatal crashes data
has a significant and larger negative effect on the issuance of traffic tickets
than budget concerns as measured by state credit ratings, unemployment
rates, and housing prices.

Right-sizing Cities and Fiscal Health: A look at Five Cities

Public Budgeting & Finance (Vol. 35 / No. 2, pp. 1-18: 2015)

The right-sizing concept in planning practice is a relatively new concept in contrast to
previous orientations of planned growth. Right-sizing recognizes that some shrinking
cities will continue to shrink and it would be advantageous for these cities to plan for
this shrinkage. One of the key indicators of success of a planned effort, such as rightsizing, is city fiscal health. This article includes a multiple case analysis of five cities which are shrinking and right-sizing. The purpose of the cases is to highlight the
right-sizing conception of planning and any possible linkages right-sizing has with
fiscal health.

Civic Crowdfunding: A Potential Test of the Voluntary Theory of Public Finance for Public Capital Goods

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management (Vol. 28 / No. 2, pp. 171 - 195: 2016)

There have been many innovations in public finance in the 21st century to address increasing budget constraints and increasing demands from government. One innovation has been civic crowd-funding which began in 2009. This is predicated on the voluntary commitment of funds by individual and institutional donors and investors for specific projects. This paper explores this new approach to funding capital projects and grounds it within a discussion of the Voluntary Theory of Public Finance. There is a lack
of research on civic crowd-funding and a lack of theoretical approaches to it. This paper draws these connections and develops future directions of research that includes the continuing application of this approach, the increasing engagement of citizens in the administrative process of government and increasing budget constraints.

Inter-State Internal Migration: State-level Wellbeing as a Cause

Journal of Happiness Studies (Vol. 17 / No. 5, pp. 2149 - 2165: 2016)

The relationship between subjective wellbeing and in-migration is explored in this paper. The wellbeing of a state is considered an incentive for in-migration to that state as the wellbeing in that state increases. A cross-sectional, multiple regression on the contiguous states in the United States was used to determine if there is any relationship. A significant and positive relationship was found between state-level subjective wellbeing and net in-migration when controlling for economic and non-economic variables typically associated with in-migration. The positive relationship indicates that as a state’s wellbeing increases its appeal as a destination for internal migrants  increases as well. It is recommended for policymakers to focus on improving the subjective wellbeing of their state’s residents not only to retain and attract new residents, but as a general measure of successful administration. Future studies are needed to verify the link between a state’s wellbeing and in-migration to that state. This study serves as a first step in this literature

Immigrant friendly and unfriendly cities: Impacts on the presence of a foreign-born population and city crime

Journal of International Migration and Integration (Vol. 17 / No. 4, pp. 1211 - 1230: 2016)

Immigration continues to be an issue in the USA. In the absence of substantive
Federal law, some local governments have passed ordinances related to immigrants
living in their community. Some of these have had pro-immigrant orientations and
some have had anti-immigrant orientations. In the literature, these types of policies
have been found to have mixed effects on immigrant decisions to live in those
communities. These cities have passed these ordinances in order to attract or repel
them because of perceived impacts on city crime among other reasons. This study is the
first assessment on whether these policies have attracted or repelled the foreign-born
population in these cities, and it contributes to the ongoing literature on whether that
foreign-born population is having an effect on city crime. It was found that these
policies are not having a significant effect on attracting or repelling immigrants while
the impact of this population on city crime is significantly negative. Further research is
recommended on this important topic.

The Potential Effects of the Social Costs from Alcohol Consumption on State Financial Condition

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management (Vol. 30 / No. 1, pp. 72 - 87: 2018)

Purpose – Most of the literature on the topic of alcohol consumption and externalities related to it identify adverse effects. The effects of these possible externalities on government financial condition remain relatively unexplored in the literature. In economics, the theory of social costs related to unrestricted economic behavior such as alcohol consumption has been explored since the early twentieth century which spread into the field of public administration through welfare economics. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper is a study of the possible effects of alcohol consumption on state financial condition across state governments in the USA, based on a mediation analysis with PROCESS.
Findings – This paper finds that there is a significant mediated effect of alcohol consumption on state financial condition through some economic and demographic variables. The paper explores these findings as well as future research.
Originality/value – This is the first paper that takes an interdisciplinary approach to the social cost and public finance literature with a specific focus on alcohol consumption.

Hate Groups and Muslim Population Changes in the Fifty States: Does the Presence of Muslims Encourage Hate Group Formation?

International Journal on Minority and Group Rights (Vol. 25 / No. 2, pp. 317 - 332: 2018)

The size of the Muslim population in the United States is growing, while the number
of hate groups also continues to increase across the states. Based on the social
dominance theory and group threat theory, there may be a link between these two
dynamics as social dominators become concerned about their group status, i.e. white
Christian males. This potential relationship is explored in this article. Although there
were significant positive correlations between the number of hate groups and the size
of the Muslim population, a panelled negative binomial regression with a number of
relevant control variables found that there was not a significant relationship between
these variables at the 0.05 probability level. The article further explores these findings
and future research in this area.

The possibilities of community redevelopment with Islamic finance

Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research (Vol. 10 / No. 2, pp. 259-273: 2019)

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the application of a profit and loss sharing approach to tax increment financing (TIF) districts in the United States. Design/methodology/approach - A survey based on this approach was distributed to representatives of Community Redevelopment Authorities (CRAs) in the State of Florida to ascertain practitioner feedback.

Findings - Although a majority of the respondents did not feel it was possible for political, economic and legal reasons, some did feel that it was a practical, reasonable and sustainable approach to financing projects for economic development. Some responses were correlated with others indicating that certain beliefs framed their answers to the questions.

Research limitations/implications - The surveys were only distributed to CRAs in the State of Florida. Future research will need to include other CRAs in other states to make the findings more generalizable. In addition, the results are merely descriptive and are not an assessment of a successful application.

Practical implications - The need for more development in blighted areas of many cities across the United States will put emphasis on innovative approaches in financing this. The growth of Islamic finance in the United States and the regulatory framework for it might open a doorway for its application in this area.

Originality/value - This is the first attempt to apply an Islamic financing methodology to local economic development in the United States with practitioner feedback.

Public Administration in the Islamic World: Considering the Importance of Religion, its Values and Culture

Halduskultuur: The Estonian Journal of Administrative Culture and Digital Governance (Vol. 19 / No. 2, pp. 23 - 38: 2019)

A small but growing area of public administration scholarship appreciates the influence of religious values on various aspects of government. This appreciation parallels a growing interest in comparative public administration and indigenized forms of government which recognizes the role of culture in different approaches to government. This article is at the crossroads of these two trends while also considering a very salient region, the Islamic world. The Islamic world is uniquely religious, which makes this discussion even more relevant, as the nations that represent them strive towards legitimacy and stability. The history and core values of Islam need to be considered as they pertain to systems of government that are widely accepted by the people. In essence, this is being done in many countries across the Islamic world, providing fertile grounds for public administration research from a comparative perspective. This paper explores these possibilities for future research on this topic.

The Effects of Population and Housing Density in Urban Areas on Income in the United States

Local Economy (Vol. 35 / No. 1, pp. 27-47: 2020)

Cities in the United States have become increasingly less dense either from sprawl from rapid development or vacancy due to decline. The benefits and costs of urban density have been a topic of research since the mid-20th century. The effect of urban density on incomes is one of these areas of research. Based on concepts rooted in urbanization economies and social output, it is assumed in this paper that an increase in urban density increases incomes. Urban density is defined as population and housing density. It was found using a cross-sectional lagged mediated multiple regression that population and housing density have statistically significant indirect effects on income in a sample of more than 300 metropolitan areas in the United States. The significant effects of these variables on employment and the effect of employment on income mediated these effects.

Identifying as Muslim and American: The Role of Discrimination

Review of Religious Research (DOI:10.1007/s13644-020-00418-x)

This study uniquely examines the relationship between specific forms of discrimination and how Muslim young adults in the United States choose to identify. A survey was distributed to Muslim young adults in Genesee County, Michigan, where 2.6 percent of the population is Muslim. Some experiences of discrimination were significantly related to identifying as a Muslim and not also as an American. In particular, experiences of being accused or suspected of doing something wrong because of one’s identity significantly predicted responses on the identity variable above and beyond other experiences of discrimination. The probability of a Muslim young adult identifying only as a Muslim when sometimes experiencing being accused of something wrong is 43.1 percent. This probability drops to 32.8 percent for those never experiencing this form of discrimination. The article discusses the implications of increasing discrimination on future generations of Muslims and their identity development.