In: State and Local Government Review, Volume 49, Issue 4, p. 267-274
Despite the significant contributions of cities to our nation's economy and the everyday life of most Americans, local government leaders are faced with significant constraints on their ability to lead and govern. This article presents a novel framework of constraints facing city leadership focused on legal (what they are allowed to do), fiscal (what they have resources to do), and political constraints (what they want to do). A model is constructed to analyze the impact of these constraints on local action regarding minimum wage and hypothesize that greater constraints will result in less policy action within cities. Using multivariate regression, the authors find that political constraints and economic factors are the most significant determinants of whether a city pursues policy leadership.