Local Government Fiscal Health & Deindustrialization in Michigan

May 2021
Elizabeth Chon and Capri Backus, Policy Analysts

In this case study, we analyze the financial health and Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) responses for two municipalities in Michigan: Cities X and Y. Although both municipalities experienced industrial decline throughout the late 20th century, City Y presented stronger quantitative indicators of financial health than City X in 2016. Both municipalities, however, reported similar levels of financial stress through the MPPS survey. We theorize that the resulting gap between subjective and objective measures may result from inaccurate measures of stress, or from contextual differences in the demographic and economic characteristics of the cities.