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COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

Independent Variables

Independent Variables Physical Characteristics The measurements of physical characteristics of cities are available from 2000 U.S. Census and Florida Statistical Abstract. These variables include the size of population (natural log), population change, population density, water vs. land ratio, and the shoreline that a city boundary has. Specifically, population change is measured by the percentage of population change between 1990 and 2000, and population density is measured by the number of people per square miles. The water area variable is divided by total land area where a city is placed to control the possibility that a bigger size city may have wider water area. Shoreline variable is the number of shoreline miles within city boundaries 48 . This data is available at Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The city’s physical characteristics are not changing rapidly. Rather these variables are stable for a long time 49 . So, the variables are assumed as time invariant in this research. There is a higher possibility of multicollinearity problems when we use various physical characteristics. The diagnostic test of this problem shows that there is no multicollinearity problem among these variables 50 . Table 8 and 10 show the descriptive statistics and the various measurements of these physical attributes. Community Interests As I discussed earlier, the community interest variables are divided into two parts: shared pro-environmental interests and shared pro-developmental interests. For the measurement of pro-environmental interests, the homogeneity, education, and wealth of a community are included. Specifically, homogeneity is measured by the percent of white population of total population providing a dominant status of white population. The community wealth indicators divided into two measurements: income and 48 Unlike water area, it is not necessary to control the size of city because shoreline miles are affected by the location of a city. 49 In addition to this reason, the data at the city level does not provide yearly changes of most physical characteristic variables. 50 The multicollinearity tests show that there are no variables that exceed 2.5 VIF scores. Rule of thumb for mulicollinearity is 10.0 of VIF score. See covariance matrix on Appendix. 63

homeownership. Income is measured by median per capita income while homeownership is measured by the percentage of household occupied by owners. Education is measured by the percent of population that has the bachelor degree or higher. These data are available from the 2000 U.S. Census. For the pro-developmental interests, I use proportion of city establishments in construction and real-estate industries. These measure the strength of developmental interests of a city. The data are available from the US Census Zip Code Business Patterns with GIS matching zip codes to city boundaries. The pro-environmental variables are assumed as time invariant in this research because of the unavailability of yearly data and the values are relatively stable during the research time period. Formal and Informal Institutions Formal institution. Formal institution variables are available from the Devoe Moore Center Survey on Florida cities and counties’ political institutions in 2002. These institution variables are also time invariant because local political institutions are stable for the research period (Lubell et al. 2005), except several cities such as Bonita Springs 51 . First of all, executive institution variable is coded by 1 if a city’s executive institution reflects highly political dimension and centralized authority of mayor, which is defined as strong mayor form of government in the previous chapter. This institution is coded 1 if mayor is elected directly, has veto power, have authority to prepare budget and appoint department heads, and have CAO appointed by mayor or does not have CAO. CAO position belongs to the administrative dimension of political institution in terms of Frederickson definition. However, when CAO is appointed by the mayor, they usually serve the mayor’s “pleasure” (Weber and Brace 1999). So, for the cities where the other characteristics are met and CAO is appointed by mayors, then it is also coded 1 as a strong mayor form of government. This may increase the variation of local political institutions 52 . In case of the authority of budget recommendation and submission, only 33 cities provide the authority to the mayor for the budget submission. However, 28 cities 51 The city of Bonita Springs was incorporated in 1999, so the data for the city is available since 1999. 52 If the absent of CAO is considered as political cities, then only 23 cities (6.1%) are categorized in the political cities. 64

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