Date Thesis Awarded

4-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Advisor

Peter McHenry

Committee Member

Rui Pereira

Committee Member

Sibel Zandi-Sayek

Abstract

In cities with ample space to expand, municipal annexation is a versatile urban growth management tool because it can direct the location of future land development and population growth. However, limited research has addressed the cost of providing public services, specifically police services, in cities which have undergone varying spatial forms of municipal annexation. In this thesis, I test the hypothesis that there are costs associated with increasingly spatially fragmented forms of annexation. I perform regression analysis on two spatial descriptors of non-compact boundaries using a national sample of 119 United States cities for the period 1990 to 2010. The sample includes cities which exhibited a high areal growth rate exceeding 5% and a population threshold of at least 75,000 inhabitants across the study period. When controlling for both city-specific factors and national trends in police expenditure, I found no association at the 10% significance level to support a relationship between fragmented annexation and the costs of police services. This research shows that criticisms of fragmented patterns of annexation cannot be justified solely on the basis of increased police service costs.