7 The Census defines this category, which is primarily Medicaid spending, as "payments to medical vendors."
Spending on Social Welfare Programs in Rich and Poor States. Final Report.. D. Integrated Analysis Between Econometric Model and Site Visit Data
We designed our field research in part to help interpret the estimated econometric models and extend the range of factors whose influences might be assessed. At the most general level, the analyses of the econometric data posed and sharpened the questions for the site visits and related analyses of the six states.
Spending on Social Welfare Programs in Rich and Poor States. Final Report.. 3. Selection of Poor States
Selected for site visits through a three-step process, the six states were Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, and West Virginia. First, we ranked all states by an index composed of state fiscal incapacity (i.e., per capita personal income, inversely scored) and social needs (i.e., federal poverty rates) and eliminated the
The site visits consisted of discussions with state officials in each of six states about state budget processes and choices involving major social programs, including TANF cash and non-cash assistance, child care subsidies, child welfare, Medicaid, SCHIP, SSBG, and others. We met with high-level agency administrators responsible for these program
The study included site visits to six states for in-depth answers to questions about how state fiscal capacity affects state spending on social programs. We visited states with low fiscal capacity and high social needs to understand how such states coped with this seeming imbalance. Three questions were of particular interest:
Spending on Social Welfare Programs in Rich and Poor States. Final Report.. 2. Overview of Data Sources and How the Data Were Used
We considered several data sources on state spending for estimating the 50-state econometric model, including data from the U.S. Census Bureau (Census Bureau), the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and federal departments. No data source provides comprehensive, detailed mea
An important question is how state and local spending responds to changes in the level of overall economic activity such as booms and recessions and changes in state labor market conditions. To some extent, the unemployment variable in the need analysis incorporates the effects of unemployment on state and local spending. In addition, we developed
Spending on Social Welfare Programs in Rich and Poor States. Final Report.. b. Linear Expenditure Models
Following McGuire (1978) for the basic theoretical model, we assumed that the decision-maker is the combined state and local system. This approach allowed us to model state and local spending on both public and private goods in a consistent way. The budget constraint consists of state fiscal capacity augmented by federal grants. The state and loca
Spending on Social Welfare Programs in Rich and Poor States. Final Report.. a. Analysis of Trends and Patterns
Our analysis of time trends and cross-state patterns in social welfare spending involved examining Census data on per capita spending by state and local governments for the period 1977 to 2000 for each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. In subsection IIC below, we describe in detail the data examined.
Our analysis of Census spending data involved both examining time trends and patterns across states and estimating an econometric model. The analysis of trends and patterns entailed primarily the study of time trends and cross-state patterns for different components of spending. We developed the econometric model to give insight into the determina
To answer the research questions identified in the Introduction, first we analyzed spending trends and patterns over 24 years for the 50 states plus the District of Columbia by using sample means from Census data and an econometric model estimated from the pooled time series and cross-section data. We supplemented this analysis with site visits an
2 The Food Stamp Program requires a state match for administrative costs.
Spending on Social Welfare Programs in Rich and Poor States. Final Report.. c. Political and Institutional Determinants
State political cultures and institutions might also affect state spending on social welfare programs. But prior research often showed unstable results, and it failed to cover the wide range of program areas dealt with in this study. In political science, the investigation into the effects of political and institutional factors on redistributive p
It is hypothesized that the higher the poverty and other indicators of need, the more the state will spend on programs benefiting the poor. Mogull (1989) suggests that poverty affects expenditures in two ways. First, high levels of poverty increase the pool of eligible persons. Second, increased visibility of concentrations of poor people can incr
Overall, research has found a positive association between fiscal capacity and social welfare spending. One study (Mogull, 1978) found that primarily fiscal resources, measured by per capita personal income and federal aid, determined state and local expenditures on antipoverty programs. Other studies (Jennings, 1980; Orr, 1976; Plotnick & Win
Spending on Social Welfare Programs in Rich and Poor States. Final Report.. 3. Determinants of Social Welfare Spending
We hypothesized that three factors drive state spending on social welfare programs: fiscal capacity, need, and political and institutional factors. Prior literature has attempted to explain the connection between these factors and spending.
Spending on Social Welfare Programs in Rich and Poor States. Final Report.. 2. Measuring Fiscal Capacity
The term fiscal capacity can be measured several ways, although this term is generally used to represent a states potential to raise revenue and not the actual fiscal choices made. Common ways for measuring fiscal capacity include the following: