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The Rise of the Public AuthorityStatebuilding and Economic Development in Twentieth-Century America$
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Gail Radford

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226037691

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226037868.001.0001

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Public Authorities since the Second World War

Public Authorities since the Second World War

(p.135) SIX Public Authorities since the Second World War
The Rise of the Public Authority

Gail Radford

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses changes in the use of public authority agencies since World War II. At the federal level, new corporations were rare and some of what had been done by federal corporations was outsourced to independent organizations, such as Los Alamos National Laboratory, that were run by private contractors but entirely or mostly funded by the U.S. government. At the same time, publicly launched corporations at the state and local levels mushroomed and evolved into new forms. Whereas traditional public authorities were the direct builders and operators of income-producing infrastructure such as ports, bridges, parking lots, or stadiums, as time went by they came to be increasingly used simply as vehicles to obtain low-cost capital from the tax-exempt capital market. The so-called financing authority, pioneered by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in New York State, has become a staple of public finance throughout the country. Thus, the nature as well as the number of public authorities has expanded.

Keywords:   public authority agencies, federal corporations, public authorities, financing authority, public finance

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