Minority Representation in Local Government and Distributional Outcomes
Randy Walsh, Professor, Department of Applied Microeconomics, Environmental Economics, Public Economics, and Urban Economics at the University of Pittsburgh, will present “Minority Representation in Local Government and Distributional Outcomes” on Friday, November 17th from 10:30am-12:00pm in Room 250A, Agricultural Administration (2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, OH 43210).
Abstract: The welfare implications of minority representation in local government will be examined. We utilize a unique dataset identifying the ethnicity of California city council members and candidates to assess how the election of a nonwhite (rather than white) candidate is capitalized into housing prices, which reflect underlying neighborhood amenities. Most public goods provided at the local level are inherently spatial in nature, so we focus on comparing changes in housing values across neighborhoods to assess how representation affects the welfare of different groups. Using a regression discontinuity approach based on narrow election victories, we find that the ethnicity of the winning candidate has no impact on average housing values in the city. However, the election of a white candidate leads to higher housing values in majority white neighborhoods and lower housing values in majority nonwhite neighborhoods. The election of a nonwhite candidate, on the other hand, has limited effects on housing values in either type of neighborhood.
This event is open to the public. No RSVP is necessary.