The Homevoter Hypothesis: How Home Values Influence Local Government Taxation, School Finance, and Land-Use Policies / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $14.73
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 50%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $14.73   
  • New (5) from $21.05   
  • Used (7) from $14.73   


Just as investors want the companies they hold equity in to do well, homeowners have a financial interest in the success of their communities. If neighborhood schools are good, if property taxes and crime rates are low, then the value of the homeowner's principal asset--his home--will rise. Thus, as William Fischel shows, homeowners become watchful citizens of local government, not merely to improve their quality of life, but also to counteract the risk to their largest asset, a risk that cannot be diversified. Meanwhile, their vigilance promotes a municipal governance that provides services more efficiently than do the state or national government.

Fischel has coined the portmanteau word "homevoter" to crystallize the connection between homeownership and political involvement. The link neatly explains several vexing puzzles, such as why displacement of local taxation by state funds reduces school quality and why local governments are more likely to be efficient providers of environmental amenities. The Homevoter Hypothesis thereby makes a strong case for decentralization of the fiscal and regulatory functions of government.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe - Anthony Flint
Although other commentators have bemoaned voter apathy and the lack of civic engagement, Fischel shows how democracy thrives at the local level. As the "homevoter" looks at all the factors that affect property values--good schools, effective management of traffic, fewer undesirable uses such as landfills and prisons--he or she becomes politically engaged...The Homevoter Hypothesis...[is] an important contribution to the ongoing conversation about how best to manage growth.
Choice - R. S. Hewett
Fischel...describes "homevoters" as homeowners whose votes determine the character of local government. From their ranks comes the median voter, whose needs are most likely to be met by democratically elected officials...Fiscal efficiency in local government, Fischel argues, requires close correspondence between taxes and the services they fund...Fischel rounds out his brief for local government with examples, anecdotes, and further suggestions for reform. Though best characterized as advocacy economics, the work is well documented and thoroughly researched, encouraging the diligent reader to engage in the debate. Recommended.
Vicki Been
The Homevoter Hypothesis is a valuable contribution to debates over how to allocate land use and environmental regulatory authority among the federal, state, regional, and local governments. Fischel bring sorely needed balance to those debates. He systematically builds a theory favoring local control over land use by bringing a large and wide-ranging literature to bear on the problems of localism versus federalism. It is a very important book.
Jon Sonstelie
The Homevoter Hypothesis was a pleasure to read. Fischel has a unique style for an economist. This book is full of anecdotes and personal observations, yet underlying these stories and observations is very impressive scholarship. Fischel has read and internalized everything worth reading in this area, and this scholarship comes through very clearly. This book shows a different and refreshing prospective; it is rich in detail and content, but also very coherent.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674015951
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William Fischel is Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 An asset-market approach to local government 1
2 Local government's corporate form 19
3 Capitalization, zoning, and the Tiebout hypothesis 39
4 The median voter in local government politics 72
5 Serrano and the California tax revolt 98
6 The fruits of school-finance centralization 129
7 The race to the top in environmental protection 162
8 "Beggar thy neighbor" and landfill location 184
9 How homevoters remade metropolitan areas 207
10 Sprawl, metropolitanism, and local control 229
11 Reforming and reaffirming local government 260
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)