Growth in Municipal Expenditures

A Case Study of Los Angeles

by Jan M. Chaiken, Warren Walker

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Expenditures in the City of Los Angeles were examined for the period from fiscal year 1973 through fiscal year 1978. The objective of the analysis was to clarify the implications of the fiscal limitation movement by identifying the components of expenditure growth that will have to be controlled in the future. Among the findings were: (1) very little of the growth of expenditures is explained by increased programs and activities (in fact, city-funded direct services to the public appear to have been declining); (2) over 75 percent of the increase in expenditures was due to inflation; and (3) almost half of the remaining increase is attributable to a shift in the mix of employees (a decrease in the number of lower-paid employees who provide direct services to the public, and an increase in the number of middle- or higher-paid administrative and support personnel).

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

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