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Comparative Study of Community Decision-Making (ICPSR 25)

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This study contains data for 51 communities with populations of 50,000-750,000 in 22 states of the United States on the characteristics of community leadership, decision-making, and patterns of influence, as well as political, economic, and demographic composition of the communities and per capita expenditures for various common community functions. Information regarding general political and public policy issues, specific municipal problems, and their solutions was obtained from interviews with eight prominent individuals in each city, such as the Chamber of Commerce president, a labor leader, a leading newspaper editor or publisher, the chairmen of the Democratic and Republican parties, the president of the largest bank, and the mayor. Data are also provided on the characteristics of the cities, including composite indexes created from the interview data as well as data from other sources. The study is composed of three files: a Merged Aggregate and Individual file (Part 1), an Aggregate file (Part 2), and an Individual file (Part 3). The Merged Aggregate and Individual file (Part 1) contains the responses of the individuals interviewed and information on the characteristics of each respondent's city from other sources. Items include education, health, culture, welfare, and total expenditures of the city. The Aggregate file (Part 2) contains information on the population characteristics of each city, as well as information on the structure, income, and expenditures of the city government. Demographic indices describe age and income distribution of the population, racial composition, level of educational attainment, and the size, income and occupational distribution of the labor force. The Individual file (Part 3) provides information received from respondents on decision-making pertaining to issues of urban renewal, mayoral elections, air pollution control, race relations, health, education, industrial and economic development, and anti-poverty programs.

Access Notes

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DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Merged Aggregate and Individual - Download All Files (10.3 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   
DS2:  Aggregate - Download All Files (9.3 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   
DS3:  Individual - Download All Files (9.5 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   
DS4:  Codebook for All Parts
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


Clark, Terry N. Comparative Study of Community Decision-Making. ICPSR00025-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   cities, communities, community decision making, community elites, community leaders, community participation, leadership, local politics, municipalities, political influence, public policy

Geographic Coverage:   Akron, Alabama, Albany (New York), Amarillo, Arizona, Atlanta, Berkeley, Birmingham, Bloomington, Boston, Buffalo, California, Cambridge, Charlotte, Clifton, Connecticut, Duluth, Euclid, Florida, Fort Worth, Fullerton, Gary, Georgia, Hamilton, Hammond, Indiana, Indianapolis, Irvington, Jacksonville, Long Beach, Malden, Manchester, Massachusetts, Memphis, Michigan, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (state), Newark, North Carolina, Ohio, Palo Alto, Pasadena, Pennsylvania, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ana, Santa Monica, Schenectady, Seattle, South Bend, St. Louis, St. Paul, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Tennessee, Texas, Tyler, United States, Utah, Utica, Waco, Warren, Washington (state), Waterbury, Waukegan, Wisconsin

Data Types:   aggregate data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The data map is provided as an ASCII text file, and the codebook is provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file.


Sample:   A total of 51 communities with populations of 50,000-750,000 in 22 states of the United States.

Data Source:

(1) personal interviews, and (2) reports of the United States Bureau of the Census, reports of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Municipal Yearbook, and scholarly publications


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 4 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.

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