Sarah Anzia

Sarah F. Anzia is a professor of public policy and political science at the University of California, Berkeley, and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. Her research examines the politics of public policy in the United States with an emphasis on state and local governments and how interest groups, political parties, and political institutions shape policy outcomes. She is the author of Local Interests: Politics, Policy, and Interest Groups in US City Governments (University of Chicago Press, 2022), which evaluates the political activity of interest groups in US local governments and how they shape local public policies on housing, business tax incentives, policing, and public service provision more broadly. Her first book, Timing and Turnout: How Off-Cycle Elections Favor Organized Groups (University of Chicago Press, 2014), examines how the timing of elections can be manipulated to affect both voter turnout and the composition of the electorate, which, in turn, affect election outcomes and public policy. She has also published research on the political activity and influence of public-sector unions, the politics of public-employee pensions, policy feedback, and women in politics.

Local Governments Have Limited Ability or Incentive To Control Spending on Union Wages and Benefits

Many cities across the United States are experiencing structural budget deficits. However, in part due to salary and benefit promises to public-employee unions, there is little capacity to control spending. Local politicians have few electoral incentives to push back against union bargaining demands to address these rising costs.

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