Cost of community service (COCS) studies, which compare the ratio of expenditures-to-revenues for different land uses, are increasingly popular and influential in debates about municipal landuse planning. In this paper, we conduct a quantitative meta-analysis of COCS studies that focus on three land-use categories: residential, commercial/industrial, and agricultural/open-space. The dataset consists of 125 studies that take place across the United States. Using data from the studies themselves and the U.S. Census, we estimate models to investigate underlying patterns regarding the effect of different methodological assumptions and the geographic and financial characteristics of communities. Many of the results have implications for the conduct and interpretation of COCS studies in particular and the fiscal impacts of land use in general.
A Meta-Analysis of Cost of Community Service Studies
Matthew J. Kotchen and Stacey L. Schulte
Santa Barbara, CA: University of California
July 25, 2008
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Cost of Community Services