Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Estimating the Fiscal Impacts of the Homeland Security Grants on State and Local Public Safety Spending
by Kirschner, Charlotte L., Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2012, 256; 3474049
Abstract (Summary)

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina reinforced the need for public safety organizations to reach a state of readiness, before disaster strikes. Between FY 2001 and FY 2008, the federal government allocated over $30 billion in federal grants to enhance the capabilities of state, local, and private organizations to prepare for and respond to the next terrorist attack or natural disaster. This research takes an important first step at estimating the fiscal impacts of the homeland security grants.

Two panel datasets were created from existing government data to answer two research questions. First, nationally what effects have the homeland security grants had on state and local public safety spending? This analysis examines trends of state and local governments in all fifty states across nine years and is used to compare spending on public safety before and after the September 11th attacks. Results demonstrate that public safety spending increased slightly, but the increase is statistically indistinguishable from zero.

The analysis then shifts to answer the second question: what effects have the homeland security grants had on local jurisdiction's spending on public safety? The local analysis examines grant spending from 35 California counties across six years, to establish whether the homeland security grants were treated as fungible resources. These results indicate that the homeland security grants are associated with a significant decrease in public safety spending within a county over time.

Although the grants clearly supplanted local spending on public safety; it is still unknown how the grants impacted homeland security outcomes. Future research should focus on investigating how state and local governments have used these funds and whether the country is better prepared now than it was before the infusion of federal funds.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cordes, Joseph J.
Commitee: Augustine, Nancy Y., Stoker, Robert P., Wolman, Harold L., Young, Garry D.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Public Policy and Public Administration
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science, Public administration
Keywords: Federal funding, Flypaper effect, Grants, Homeland security, Intergovernmental relations, Preparedness, Public safety
Publication Number: 3474049
ISBN: 978-1-124-89333-4
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