Is direct democracy a problem or a promise for fiscal outcomes? The case of the United States
AbstractIn time of worry for large deficits, the question on whether direct democracy can be a problem or a promise to better rule modern societies may arise. Both theoretical and empirical studies provide mixed answers. This paper investigates both the indirect (i.e. the existence) and the direct effects (i.e. the usage) of direct democracy institutions on major fiscal outcomes across the American States during 1992-2009. Being based on a more recent time span than previous contributions, our study includes more detailed information such as the type of institution, the voting result, and the topics of concern. The main results suggest that States permitting initiatives spend less than those without, confirming some previous findings. However, when initiatives are effectively used, their practice contributes to increase spending among those States allowing them. The intensity of different initiatives also matters for fiscal outcomes as well as the nature of topics involved.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics - University Roma Tre in its series Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' with number 0178.
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Via Silvio d'Amico 77, - 00145 Rome Italy
Phone: +39 06 57114612
Fax: +39 06 57114771
Web page: http://host.uniroma3.it/dipartimenti/economia/it/
More information through EDIRC
Voter initiatives; Fiscal policy; Positive constitutional economics; State government. (*);
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
- O51 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-07-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2013-07-28 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-PBE-2013-07-28 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2013-07-28 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert Krol, 2007. "The Role of Fiscal and Political Institutions in Limiting the Size of State Government," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 27(3), pages 431-445, Fall.
- James E. Alt & David Dreyer Lassen, 2002. "The Political Economy of Institutions and Corruption in American States," EPRU Working Paper Series 02-16, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Weerapana, Akila, 2004.
"The impact of voter initiatives on economic activity,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 207-226, March.
- Blomberg, S.B. & Hess, G.D., 1999. "The Impact of Voter Initiatives on Economic Activity," Papers 99-11, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
- Feld, Lars P & Savioz, Marcel R, 1997. "Direct Democracy Matters for Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 507-38.
- Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
- Sergio Galletta & Mario Jametti, 2012.
"How to Tame Two Leviathans? Revisiting the Effect of Direct Democracy on Local Public Expenditure,"
Quaderni della facoltÃ di Scienze economiche dell'UniversitÃ di Lugano
1207, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
- Sergio Galletta & Mario Jametti, 2012. "How to Tame two Leviathans? Revisiting the Effect of Direct Democracy on Local Public Expenditure," CESifo Working Paper Series 3982, CESifo Group Munich.
- Matsusaka, John G, 2000. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative in the First Half of the Twentieth Century," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 619-50, October.
- Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard, 1979. "Bureaucrats versus Voters: On the Political Economy of Resource Allocation by Direct Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 563-87, November.
- Jeffrey Zax, 1989. "Initiatives and government expenditures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(3), pages 267-277, December.
- Feld, Lars P. & Matsusaka, John G., 2003. "Budget referendums and government spending: evidence from Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2703-2724, December.
- Kiewiet, D Roderick & Szakaly, Kristin, 1996. "Constitutional Limitations on Borrowing: An Analysis of State Bonded Indebtedness," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 62-97, April.
- Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, . "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States (Reprint 060)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 10-96, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Stefan Voigt, 2009.
"Positive Constitutional Economics II—A Survey of Recent Developments,"
MAGKS Papers on Economics
200936, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
- Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
- Bohn, Henning & Inman, Robert P., 1996.
"Balanced-budget rules and public deficits: evidence from the U.S. states,"
Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy,
Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 13-76, December.
- Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, 1996. "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative: Evidence from the Last 30 Years," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 587-623, June.
- Matsusaka, John G & McCarty, Nolan M, 2001. "Political Resource Allocation: Benefits and Costs of Voter Initiatives," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 413-48, October.
- John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Direct Democracy Works," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 185-206, Spring.
- Lawrence Blume & Jens Müller & Stefan Voigt, 2007.
"The Economic Effects of Direct Democracy – A First Global Assessment,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
2149, CESifo Group Munich.
- Lorenz Blume & Jens Müller & Stefan Voigt, 2009. "The economic effects of direct democracy—a first global assessment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 431-461, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Telephone for information).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.