An Application of Deviation From the Trend Analysis: The Case of Slack Resources and Budget Stabilization in Illinois Counties From 2000 to 2010


This case study discusses the application of divergence from the trend methodology using a two-stage Heckman selection model to determine whether slack resources, measured as unrestricted governmental activity fund balances, affect Illinois county government expenditures in years of economic growth and decline. In discussing research design, data collection, data management, and statistical analysis, the case conveys the authors’ thinking behind important conceptual and design decisions. The case also conveys the importance of proper preparation, collaboration, and the implications of the design and its adaptation for research findings and future analysis.

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