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Budgetary Separation of Powers in the American States and the Tax Level: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis

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  • Lucas Ferrero
  • Leandro M. de Magalhaes

    ()

Abstract

A political regime has budgetary separation of powers if the power with the prerogative to raise taxes is not the full residual claimant of a tax increase. In the American states two conditions are needed: the governor must have the line item veto, and the political interests of the legislative majority and the governor must not be perfectly aligned. Political alignment between the executive and the legislative depends on the numbers of seats the governor's party controls in the state legislature; it changes discontinuously as we move from a unifed to a divided government. We use regression discontinuity design to establish a causal relation between a divided government and lower tax rates in states with line item veto. In states with block veto such relation is not present. We estimate the jump in the tax level at the discontinuity semiparametrically.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series Bristol Economics Discussion Papers with number 08/603.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:08/603

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Keywords: Separation of powers; line item veto; tax level; regression discontinuity; semiparametric.;

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  1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
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