Working Papers

Receiving the 2021 Michael R. Curro Award for Best Graduate Research Paper, "“Do State Budget Maneuvers Reduce Future Budget Resiliency? Evidence Following the Great Recession” at the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management Annual Conference, October 1, 2021.

Stavick, J. “Organizational Memory and Snap Back Performance in Public Agencies.”

In recent years, public administration scholars investigated the relationship between employee turnover and public sector performance in settings where tasks are routine and frequently executed. This research builds on that foundation by investigating the contribution of organizational memory to the execution of infrequent and extraordinary tasks. Using a panel of administrative payroll data collected from 44 states, this research tests the relationship between state health department employee turnover, retention, and performance in response to an emergency: the COVID vaccination campaign of 2021. Results show that a one percentage point increase in employee turnover rates reduce the two-dose adult vaccine take-up rate by about 0.5 percentage points, a result largely driven by high vaccination rates among senior citizens. This research also finds that states that successfully retained employees with previous pandemic experience saw greater two-dose vaccine take-up rates, but that the turnover rate is a stronger and more robust predictor of the two-dose vaccine take-up rate.

Stavick, J. “Do State Budget Maneuvers Reduce Future Budget Resiliency? Evidence Following the Great Recession.” Available at SSRN.

Conventional wisdom suggests budget maneuvers threaten long-term structural balance because they transfer resources from the future to the present by non-transparent means. However, the incidence of maneuver use remains poorly understood due to their difficulty to observe. The Volcker Alliance’s definitions of budget maneuvers are used to create an original tally of their use by states during the Great Recession. Drawing from the regional economic resilience literature, post-recession state budgets are binned into categories of fiscal resilience. Multinomial logit regression is implemented to estimate whether budget maneuvers used in the Great Recession increased the probability of experiencing negative post-recession budget outcomes. The findings do not show a significant relationship between post-Great Recession budget outcomes and maneuver use. While this research does not support budget maneuvers as a unique threat to long-term budget resilience, it does find that intensive use of certain maneuvers can create mounting budget risks in future years.