In preparation for ABFM’s upcoming conference in Denver, I am doing a series of profiles on the doctoral students on the job market.
Yusun Kim is a doctoral candidate in Public Administration in Syracuse University. She’ll be presenting two papers at ABFM on “How Reduction in State Mandated Medicaid Spending Affect County Fiscal Behaviors: A Study of New York Counties” and “State Aid, Regular Property Assessment, and Assessment Outcomes: Evidence from New York State.” Her dissertation is on state and local public finance topics, supervised by Yilin Hou. Here is the abstract of the medicaid paper, which is Kim’s job market paper:
This paper aims to advance our empirical understanding about local fiscal responses to an intergovernmental fiscal policy that changes the way two levels of governments share the costs of a large public social insurance program. New York State in the United States passed a legislation in 2005 to cap the growth of county-level Medicaid spending, which abruptly decreased county Medicaid outlay in relative and absolute terms. This paper exploits the discontinuity in county Medicaid outlay to analyze the impact of the relief mandate on county budgets and property tax levies. The findings include a compositional change in county spending but no change in the total budget. In response to the cap policy, counties redirect most of their revenues to other general operational expenses and public employee benefits, while they also increase spending on public safety and community college education. The results show that New York counties reduce their property tax rate by approximately 0.64 to 1 mills on average, relative to comparison counties, two years after the cap is adopted. This study also intends to fill in the gap of the literature on how local governments respond to a sudden decrease instead of an increase in the outlay of a large mandatory spending category, which could potentially lead to property tax relief.
That paper is under review at International Tax and Public Finance, and she has publication experience in the form of two co-authored publications in Global Social Policy and Population Research & Policy Review.