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Economics and Policy Preferences: Causal Evidence of the Impact of Economic Conditions on Support for Redistribution and Other Ballot Proposals

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Author Info

  • Eric Brunner

    (Quinnipiac University)

  • Stephen L. Ross

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Ebonya Washington

    (Yale University and NBER)

Abstract

Using California ballot proposition returns and exogenous shifts to labor demand, we provide the first large-scale causal evidence of the impact of economic conditions on policy preferences. Consistent with economic theory, we find that positive economic shocks decrease support for redistributive policies. More notably, we find evidence of a need for cognitive consistency in voting behavior as economic shocks have a smaller significant impact on voting on noneconomic ballot issues. While we also demonstrate that positive shocks decrease turnout, we present evidence that our results reflect changes in the electorate's preferences and not simply to its composition. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 888-906

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:3:p:888-906

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535

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Cited by:
  1. Ingo Geishecker & Thomas Siedler, 2012. "Job Loss Fears and (Extremist) Party Identification: First Evidence from Panel Data," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 511, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens Jr., 2011. "Employment, Wages and Voter Turnout," NBER Working Papers 17270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Thomas Siedler & Bettina Sonnenberg, 2012. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 510, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. repec:got:cegedp:129 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Geishecker, Ingo & Siedler, Thomas, 2011. "Job loss fears and (extreme) party identification: First evidence from panel data," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 129, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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