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Saying No to Abstinence-Only Education: An Analysis of State Decision-Making

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  • Alesha E. Doan
  • Deborah R. McFarlane
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    Abstract

    As a rule, American states try to maximize their share of federal funds. This study addresses an unusual case of states rejecting federal dollars. Here, the spurned monies were block grants for abstinence-only education, intended to discourage adolescent sexual activity. These grants became available in 1998, but by 2009, twenty-five states had rejected them. Using a conceptual framework drawn from fiscal federalism and morality politics, we explore the dynamics of these state decisions through an event history analysis. The results suggest that states' rejection of abstinence-only funds were largely driven by partisanship and ideology rather than by fiscal maximization or state needs. We argue that this case is a bellwether for fiscal federalism in a polarized polity. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/publius/pjr052
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Publius: The Journal of Federalism.

    Volume (Year): 42 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (October)
    Pages: 613-635

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:publus:v:42:y:2012:i:4:p:613-635

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    Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
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    Cited by:
    1. Faber, Riemer & Koning, Pierre, 2012. "Why Not Fully Spend a Conditional Block Grant?," IZA Discussion Papers 6712, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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