Water, Water Everywhere

Edited by David Cutler and Grant Miller

in Corruption and Reform

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780226299570
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226299594 | DOI:
Water, Water Everywhere

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This chapter examines corruption in municipal finance and water supply projects in American cities. It suggests that corruption does not alone determine the extent of public good formation and argues that despite the corruption of municipal governments the increasing availability of municipal credit during the Gilded Age made large-scale water projects feasible. The analysis indicates that though corruption is undesirable and inefficient it can go hand in hand with policies that improve public welfare if corrupt politicians seek both political support and a robust economy to exploit.

Keywords: municipal finance; water supply projects; American cities; public good; municipal credit; Gilded Age; public welfare; political support; corrupt politicians

Chapter.  12783 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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