Initial Evidence on the Association between Local Government Fiscal Distress and Environmental Protection Programs

Janet F. Phillips, Pamela J. Strickland


The purpose of this study is to explore the commitment of local governments to environmental programs when fiscal distress is predicted. We hypothesize that commitment to environmental programs diminishes when the local government is experiencing fiscal distress. The regression model results indicate that local governments with high levels of debt were less likely to I mplement environmental programs and that a larger population and higher revenue are factors directly related to the commitment of local government to environmental programs. Communities that are more populous and less fiscally stressed are more likely to benefit from a local government that implements and sustains environmental programs. These results have implications for the stakeholders of local communities and broader implications for the global effort toward environmental protection and sustainable communities.


Environmental Protection, Fiscal Distress, Local Government, Sustainable Development

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