Follow the Money - From Surpluses to School Buses: Understanding Public Finance


Annual BRASS program
June 26, 2006
New Orleans, Louisiana

Public Finance Information Sources:
A Bibliography

Compiled by BRASS 2006 Annual Program Planning Committee

Download the bibliography as a Word document

Appendix B: Typology of Finance-Related Publications


Below is a framework for thinking about the types of public finance information produced, and what level of information various sources might provide. The original typology was created to address any business and economics related information that was regional. This document still includes some of those broader resources, but has been expanded to include federal and international sources, and enhanced to specifically address public finance information-seeking. It is now a multi-purpose tool to facilitate matching an information need with a potential source.

Key: "All" in the Coverage column means the resource covers local, regional, state, federal and international information.

Readily Available Resources:
Business, Public Finance, and Economic Conditions

Source Name Coverage Source/Notes
Local, Regional or State Administrative Offices
City/LocalGovernment local calling is most useful; there are not always mailing lists, and where there are, they are not used consistently, so cultivating personal contacts is best
mayor's office budget proposals, special reports, policy statements
budget and finance office budgets, statistics
planning department special reports
Regional Government regional special reports
County administrator's headquarters special reports, policy statements
County budget and finance department budget, statistics
State government state
governor's office special reports, policy statements
department of revenue tax statistics, starting a business guides, special reports
budget office budgets, statistics
general services/bookstore state administrative manual, phone directories, statutes
legislative office statutes, bulletins, state code
environmental protection office recycled products guides, etc.
department of labor and industry may be regional offices as well as a state HQ; information on wages, employment and unemployment, affirmative action planing, special reports on labor force and issues that affect it, statistics
department of commerce/trade imports and exports info, special reports, statistics
department of economic development starting a business guides, special reports, statistics
department of travel and tourism special reports, statistics
business schools, economics department, public policy and management programs, research institutes all reports and studies, statistics
Non-profit Policy Institutes, Agencies and Incubators
Incubators and Development Agencies local starting a business guides, directories, reports; sometimes act as networks of or make referrals to primary sources for market research and other info
National League of Cities local annual reports, e.g., City Fiscal Conditions;
United Way local directories to local social services
Convention and Visitors' Bureaus local, regional, state reports, statistics, guides
Local Branches of Professional Associations local, regional guides, directories, reports
Federation of Tax Administrators state individual and corporate tax rates
National Association of State Budget Officers state briefs, reports, data, e.g., Fiscal Survey of the States (states' general funds receipts, expenditures and balances;
Tax Foundation state data, reports, e.g., Facts & Figures on Govt. Finance and State Taxes & Spending;
International Agencies
e.g., United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, OECD
international country-level data, sometimes regional, state or local, such as: national accounts, revenue, expenditures, economic indicators, development, trade
Chambers of Commerce all directories, reports, statistics; sometimes specialty/topical reports
Independent Research Institutes all reports, studies, policy analysis
Federal Information (produced at national and regional levels)
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis all
Includes BEAR Facts (local, state and regional personal income, also Gross State Product) includes national & international trade, GDP data (by industry)
U.S. Census Bureau
local, state, national starting point to docs and data on public finance from CB: Annual Survey of Govt. Finances, state and local finance, tax, public school finance,
local, national federal expenditures to local communities: Consolidated Federal Funds Report,
state, national reports, data, e.g., Federal Aid to States by Fiscal Year;
all business and economic data programs of CB, e.g., various years of the Economic Census, Annual Survey of Manufacturers, County and ZIP Business Patterns, etc.,
all compendium & finding aid for data on revenue, expenditures, national accounts, government debt, trade, business, demographics: Statistical Abstract of the United States,
State Data Centers
regional "county data" type books, economic indicators
regional, state "statistical abstract" type documents
University-generated Data Sets local demographics; example:
Bureau of Labor Statistics local wages per occupation in local area + employment/unemployment data: National Compensation Survey -
Bureau of Labor Statistics, regional offices
local, regional Consumer Expenditure Survey -
regional, state, national Consumer Price Indexes - (See "Regional Resources" in right column)
local, regional, state Local Area Employment and Unemployment -
Federal Reserve Bank, regional offices regional, state Economic Activity Index, reports, statistics -
regional, state, federal & international "Fed in Print: A Comprehensive Index to Federal Reserve Economic Research"
data sets: FRED, ALFRED, FRASIER, and LIBER8,
Office of Management & Budget federal (primarily) Economic Report of the President,; budget docs, Congressional testimony, reports,
Privately-published Information/Websites
Local Business News all news, directories, rankings and lists
Local Newspapers all special series and reports
Public Finance-Related
Economagic all economic time series, centralized links to BLS,, Census, Commerce, DOE sites + some international,
Mergent local, regional, state long-term debt/bonds, financial statements, statistical data, bond descriptions: Municipal and Government Manual;
AccountantsWorld local, state [State] Tax Handbook (selected states) --
Commerce Clearing House all tax guides -
CACI Marketing Systems local, regional, state, national demographics (zip, county, etc.) Sourcebook America -
Trade Dimensions local, regional, state, national Demographics USA series-
Grubb and Ellis local, regional, national current costs of office, retail, warehouse space per sq. foot: Annual Real Estate Forecasts, (under "Research")
SMC Business Councils regional salary surveys;
American City Business Journals regional books of lists, rankings of commercial and non-profit organizations -
HelloMetro local, state directories, "State and Local Government on the Net,"
Carroll's Municipal/County Directories local, regional, state, national directories,
D&B Business Directories all directories,
Thomas Regional Directories local, state directories,

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bullet Follow the Money - From Surpluses to School Buses: Understanding Public Finance
BRASS Program, ALA Annual Conference, June 26, 2006

Disclaimer: This publication has been placed on the web for the convenience of BRASS members. Information and links will not be updated. Posted 19 June 2006.