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The Political Economy of State Government Subsidy Adoption: The Case of Ethanol

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  • Mark, Skidmore
  • Chad, Cotti
  • James, Alm

Abstract

In this paper we examine the factors that determine the adoption of state economic development incentives in the ethanol industry. We compile data on the implementation dates for subsidies/tax credits for all states for years 1984-2007, a period that covers the complete emergence of the biofuel industry in the United States and that was characterized by the passage of a numerous of state-level subsidies and tax breaks aimed at increasing ethanol production. Using Cox proportional hazard regression analysis, we find that states are more likely to adopt ethanol subsidies when corn production is high, when corn prices are low and gasoline prices are high, when a state is affiliated with the National Corn Growers Association, when a check-off is present, and when state government is under the control of Democrats.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33937.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33937

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Keywords: ethanol; subsidies; political economy; rent seeking; proportional hazard estimation;

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  1. Poterba, James M, 1994. "State Responses to Fiscal Crises: The Effects of Budgetary Institutions and Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 799-821, August.
  2. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
  3. Alm, James & McKee, Michael J. & Skidmore, Mark, 1993. "Fiscal Pressure, Tax Competition, and the Introduction of State Lotteries," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(4), pages 463-76, December.
  4. Gardner Bruce, 2007. "Fuel Ethanol Subsidies and Farm Price Support," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-22, December.
  5. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
  6. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F672-94, November.
  7. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  8. Greenberg, Elizabeth & Reeder, Richard J., 1998. "Who Benefits from Business Assistance Programs? Results of the ERS Rural Manufacturing Survey," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33727, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  9. James Alm & Mark Skidmore, 1999. "Why do Tax and Expenditure Limitations Pass in State Elections?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 27(5), pages 481-510, September.
  10. Dubin, Jeffrey A & Graetz, Michael J & Wilde, Louis L, 1992. "State Income Tax Amnesties: Causes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 1057-70, August.
  11. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley L, 1988. "Economic and Political Foundations of Tax Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 701-12, September.
  12. Chad Cotti & Mark Skidmore, 2010. "The Impact of State Government Subsidies and Tax Credits in an Emerging Industry: Ethanol Production 1980–2007," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 1076-1093, April.
  13. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
  14. Poterba, James M., 1995. "Balanced Budget Rules and Fiscal Policy: Evidence From the States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(3), pages 329-36, September.
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