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Political Parties and the Tax Level in the American States: A Regression Discontinuity Design

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  • Leandro M. de Magalhães

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Abstract

With a regression discontinuity design I show that the partisan identity of the majority in the state House of Representatives has no causal effect on the tax level. This result goes against recent findings in the political economy literature. In the state Senate I find a significant discontinuity in the tax level, but I also find a discontinuity in the density of the forcing variable - which implies that we can not interpret the discontinuity in the Senate as a causal relation. Another contribution of the paper is to investigate under which conditions slim majorities in the American states (as opposed to close election) are appropriate for a regression discontinuity design.

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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 11/622.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:11/622

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Keywords: Regression discontinuity design; Democrats; Republicans; divided government; line item veto; tax level.;

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  1. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2008. "Do Parties Matter for Economic Outcomes? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1037-1056, 09.
  2. Imbens, Guido W. & Kalyanaraman, Karthik, 2009. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," IZA Discussion Papers 3995, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Knight, Brian G., 2000. "Supermajority voting requirements for tax increases: evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 41-67, April.
  4. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
  5. Andrew Leigh, 2007. "Estimating the Impact of Gubernatorial Partisanship on Policy Settings and Economic Outcomes: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 556, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  6. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
  7. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs In Economics," Working Papers 1118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2100, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
  10. Klor, Esteban F., 2006. "A positive model of overlapping income taxation in a federation of states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 703-723, May.
  11. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
  12. Albert Solé-Ollé & Pilar Sorribas-Navarro, 2006. "The effects of partisan alignment on the allocation of intergovernmental transfers. Differences-in-differences estimates for Spain," Working Papers 2006-09, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
  13. Glaeser, Edward L. & Ward, Bryce A., 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Working Paper Series rwp06-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  14. Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 119-144, Spring.
  15. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
  16. Bryan Caplan, 2001. "Has Leviathan Been Bound? A Theory of Imperfectly Constrained Government with Evidence from the States," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 825-847, April.
  17. Reed, W. Robert, 2006. "Democrats, republicans, and taxes: Evidence that political parties matter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 725-750, May.
  18. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422, February.
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