Privatization - Policy Study
Government in Missouri Print E-mail
By David Stokes, Justin Hauke   
Thursday, February 05, 2009

This policy study undertakes a broad review of Missouri’s state and local governmental structure, as viewed from the perspective of public choice economics. It applies various economic theories, as well as insights from the broader world of political science, to Missouri’s present system of government and politics. This study’s findings include proof of the economies of scale that occur when measuring spending within smaller Missouri counties. They also describe the lack of any hard proof of relative overspending in the city of Saint Louis, despite strong theoretical indications that such proof might be found. The author concludes the study with recommendations for ways to improve the quality and efficiency of government in Missouri.

 
Private Provision of Highways: Economic Issues Print E-mail
By Kenneth A. Small   
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Privately financed and operated highways are an idea whose time has come, ended, and returned. The idea returns, however, as part of an infinitely more complicated system than that of America’s 19th-century turnpike era. Throughout the 20th century, public expenditures were successfully used to finance, design, and implement the transportation infrastructure that helped to open the United States for its great economic expansion — most famously, the Interstate Highway System. Several factors have brought the private sector back into transportation infrastructure. The economic analysis of these issues is the focus of this study.

 
Missouri's Changing Transportation Paradigm Print E-mail
By David Stokes, Leonard Gilroy, Samuel R. Staley   
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Successful societies and growing economies have always depended on efficient transportation. As cars have become more efficient, the fuel taxes used to fund the state’s highways have leveled off — but the transportation needs of the state have not. Other states have looked to the private sector to provide transportation infrastructure, as a means of augmenting gas taxes. The people of Missouri would be well-served if officials were to give this new paradigm strong consideration as the economy evolves. Public roads, funded by gas taxes, will be the primary model for transportation in Missouri far into the foreseeable future. However, the options that public-private partnerships facilitate should be a part of the discussion for future transportation projects and plans.

 
Review of Kansas City Transit Plans Print E-mail
By Randal O'Toole   
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

After rejecting rail transit proposals at the polls six different times, Kansas City voters approved a light-rail plan in November, 2006. This plan, however, has proven infeasible, with costs at least 50 percent greater than its promoters projected. Implementing the plan would require cutting bus service by as much as 40 percent. While the City Council formally repealed the plan in November, 2007, many people in Kansas City still believe that some form of light rail or streetcars would be worthwhile. A close look at other urban areas that have built light-rail transit during the past three decades offers many lessons for Kansas City transportation policymakers, demonstrating that rail transit is more likely to worsen congestion than solve it.

 
Unleashing Video Competition: The Benefits of Cable Franchise Reform for Missouri Consumers Print E-mail
By Joseph Haslag   
Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Joseph Haslag estimates the benefits of increased video competition to Missouri consumers, to state coffers, and to the state as a whole. He finds that increased video competition would benefit consumers by between $66 million and $76 million annually. On the other hand, incumbent cable companies would be harmed by between $45 and $53 million per year. On net, therefore, increased competition would benefit the state by more than $20 million per year. Franchise reform would also benefit the state if it attracted new infrastructure investments. Based on the experience of other states, Haslag estimate that new entrants would make $420 million in capital investments. If made in one year, that quantity of investment would generate roughly $17 million in additional state revenues the first year, and approximately $1 million annually in subsequent years.

 


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