Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Public Administration and Policy

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 129 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Gang Chen

Committee Members

Lucy C. Sorensen, David S.T. Matkin


Financial condition, Financial reporting, Public service delivery, Synthetic control approach, Tax policy, Textual analysis, Finance, Public, Fiscal policy, Government spending policy, Financial statements

Subject Categories

Public Administration


A large body of literature in public administration has demonstrated the importance of financial condition in managing government organizations. Scholars have found that financial condition affects many aspects of public management while governments actively respond to their financial conditions. Using data from varied levels of U.S. governments – states, localities, and territories – this dissertation examines the dynamic roles of financial condition in three important areas of public management: financial reporting, public service delivery, and tax policy. The first essay examines how financial condition affects the ways in which state governments communicate with stakeholders through official financial documents. It applies dictionary-based textual analysis to a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and its subsection, a Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A). The second essay examines how financial condition influences the ways in which local governments choose public service delivery methods. It uses a new theoretical framework in which two different bodies of literature – cutback management and public service delivery − are integrated. The third essay assesses how the 2011 tax reform of Puerto Rico affected its financial condition, using a weighted combination of 50 U.S. states as the synthetic control group.