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Giving and Taking Away: Exploring Federal Grants' Differential Burden on Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Regions

By Jeremy L. Hall


This article examines federal economic development policy implemented through fiscal federalism. A new measure is developed to assess the burden created by local financial match requirements on federal grant awards over time. This measure is applied to counties in three states (Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina) to determine if burden varies by metropolitan or nonmetropolitan status. By mapping the data and through regression analysis, it was found that match burden is disproportionately higher in nonmetropolitan areas than in metropolitan areas. In spite of the observed geographic differences, burden levels are best explained by wealth, land area, and the level of fiscal distress, not by metropolitan status alone. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

DOI identifier: 10.1093/publius/pjp046
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