Does Form of Fiscal Governance Matter: Fiscal Practices and Outcomes in Chicago Suburbs GCP-07-01

Rebecca Hendrick
Associate Professor of Public Administration in the College of Urban Planning & Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago

This paper explores the extent to which government performance varies between traditional council-mayor structures and reformed council-manager structures. Little research exists on the linkage between type of government and financial management practices outside of budgeting or performance measurement.  The research presented here uses both qualitative and quantitative data on suburbs in the Chicago metropolitan region and a relatively unique, three- stage research design to address these analytical problems and provide more detailed inferences about the linkages between fiscal governance, financial management practices, and financial conditions in these local governments.  The findings demonstrate interesting and complex relationships between fiscal governance (and form of government), financial management practices, financial conditions, and other factors important to these conditions.

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