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Debt Wish

Entrepreneurial Cities, U.S. Federalism, and Economic Development

Alberta M. Sbragia


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Albert Sbragia considers American urban government as an investor whether for building infrastructure or supporting economic development.  Over time, such investment has become disconnected from the normal political and administrative processes of local policymaking through the use of special public spending authorities like water and sewer commissions and port, turnpike, and public power authorities.

Sbragia explores how this entrepreneurial activity developed and how federal and state policies facilitated or limited it.  She also analyzes the implications of cities creating innovative, special-purpose quasi-governments to circumvent and dilute state control over city finances, diluting their own authority in the process.

Praise For Debt Wish: Entrepreneurial Cities, U.S. Federalism, and Economic Development

“[A] brilliant synthesis of the literature on public investment. . . . An impressive scholarly work demonstrating command of diverse literatures. It is a must read for everyone interested in local public finance.”
--Political Science Quarterly

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822955993, 312pp.

Publication Date: April 25, 1996