Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Public Service


Public Administration and Policy

Committee Director

John R. Lombard

Committee Member

John C. Morris

Committee Member

Mohammad Najand

Committee Member

David Chapman


Leveraging is a popular option among Clean Water State Revolving Funds (CWSRFs). Most states choose to issue bonds to meet the requirement of the state match contribution, and to provide additional funding into the pool of funds available for community loan assistance. Leveraging offers short-term remedies to fill a financial resources gap; however, this raises concern about any costs associated with leveraging that might negatively influence the sustainability of CWSRFs in the long run. This dissertation comprises three essays that examine the different factors that motivate CWSRFs to leverage, and it offers a look at how they measure their affordability leveraging. Chapter Two borrows the assumptions of pecking order theory to build CWSRF’s leverage model. It focuses on the internal set of factors, and it analyses how the entity’s size, profitability, growth, reserve, and risk affect its leveraging. Chapter Three examines the relationship between leveraging and an external set of indicators, including socioeconomic, demographic, political, and institutional factors. The findings suggest that, in leveraging, internal factors appear to be more influential than external ones. The entity’s size and growth (entity-based factors) are found to be significant with both total and annual leveraging, while state wealth, state politics, and environmental needs also indicate some connection to debt share or debt per capita. Chapter Four particularly scrutinizes how leveraged states measure their debt affordability; it replicates the regression method and predicts the future debt service for New York state. The findings suggest that the regression method can be a good tool for predicting the debt affordability level for CWSRFs. The predicted values from that method can also serve as a supplemental reference source for states before they consider additional leveraging.


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