Alexander T. Whalley

Department of Economics
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
Tel: 209/228-4027

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: DAE
NBER Affiliation: Research Economist
Institutional Affiliation: University of Calgary

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2010Elected Versus Appointed Policymakers: Evidence from City Treasurers
This paper investigates whether methods of public official selection affect policymaking in cities. I draw on the unique characteristics of California's city referendum process to identify the causal effect of city treasurers' method of selection on their cities' debt management policies. I utilize a regression discontinuity strategy based on the effect of narrowly-passing appointive city treasurer referendums on city borrowing costs. The results indicate that appointive treasurers reduce a city's cost of borrowing by 13% to 23%. The results imply that if all cities in California with elected treasurers were to appoint them, total borrowing expenditures would be reduced by more than $20 million per year. Appointive city treasurers appear to reduce borrowing costs primarily through the ref...

Published: Alexander Whalley, 2013. "Elected versus Appointed Policy Makers: Evidence from City Treasurers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(1), pages 39 - 81. citation courtesy of

August 2009Do Universities Generate Agglomeration Spillovers? Evidence from Endowment Value Shocks
with Shawn Kantor: w15299
In this paper we quantify the extent and magnitude of agglomeration spillovers from a formal institution whose sole mission is the creation and dissemination of knowledge -- the research university. We use the fact that universities follow a fixed endowment spending policy based on the market value of their endowments to identify the causal effect of the density of university activity on labor income in the non-education sector in large urban counties. Our instrument for university expenditures is based on the interaction between each university's initial endowment level at the start of the study period and the variation in stock market shocks over the course of the study period. We find modest but statistically significant spillover effects of university activity. The estimates indicate ...

Published: “ Do Universities Generate Agglomeration Spillovers? Evidence from Endowment Value Shocks ,” T IAA - CREF Institute Research Dialogue #96 (February 2010)

February 2007The Power of Attention: Do Rankings Affect the Financial Resources of Public Colleges?
with Ginger Zhe Jin: w12941
This paper removed at the authors' request.
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