Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Is the Median Voter Decisive? Evidence of 'Ends Against the Middle' From Referenda Voting Patterns

Contents:

Author Info

  • Eric J. Brunner

    (Quinnipiac University)

  • Stephen L. Ross

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

This paper examines whether the voter with the median income is decisive in local spending decisions. Previous tests have relied on cross-sectional data while we make use of a pair of California referenda to estimate a first difference specification. The referenda proposed to lower the required vote share for passing local educational bonding initiatives from 67 to 50 percent and 67 to 55 percent, respectively. We find that voters rationally consider future public service decisions when deciding how to vote on voting rules, but the empirical evidence strongly suggests that an income percentile below the median is decisive for majority voting rules. This finding is consistent with high income voters with weak demand for public educational services voting with the poor against increases in public spending on education.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/working/2009-02r.pdf
File Function: Full textm (revised version)
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/working/2009-02.pdf
File Function: Full text (original version)
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2009-02.

as in new window
Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision: May 2010
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2009-02

Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of Connecticut 341 Mansfield Road, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Median Voter Hypothesis; Voting; Referenda; Education Spending;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
  2. Miguel Urquiola, 2005. "Does School Choice Lead to Sorting? Evidence from Tiebout Variation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1310-1326, September.
  3. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Fernando Ferreira & Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "The Value of School Facilities: Evidence from a Dynamic Regression Discontinuity Design," NBER Working Papers 14516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 1980. "Several Tests for Model Specification in the Presence of Alternative Hypotheses," Working Papers 378, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Stiglitz, J. E., 1974. "The demand for education in public and private school systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 349-385, November.
  6. Schwab, Robert M. & Zampelli, Ernest M., 1987. "Disentangling the demand function from the production function for local public services : The case of public safety," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 245-260, July.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
  8. 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.
  9. DellaVigna, Stefano & Kaplan, Ethan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," Seminar Papers 748, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  10. Rothstein, Paul, 1994. "Learning the preferences of governments and voters from proposed spending and aggregated votes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 361-389, July.
  11. Coate, Stephen & Conlin, Michael & Moro, Andrea, 2008. "The performance of pivotal-voter models in small-scale elections: Evidence from Texas liquor referenda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 582-596, April.
  12. Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Shapiro, Perry & Roberts, Judith, 1987. "Tiebout Bias and the Demand for Local Public Schooling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 426-37, August.
  13. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
  14. McKelvey, Richard D., 1976. "Intransitivities in multidimensional voting models and some implications for agenda control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 472-482, June.
  15. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & Caroline Hoxby, 2004. "Political Jurisdictions in Heterogeneous Communities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 348-396, April.
  16. Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard, 1982. "Median Voters or Budget Maximizers: Evidence from School Expenditure Referenda," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 556-78, October.
  17. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
  18. Ed Balsdon & Eric Brunner & Kim Rueben, 2003. "Private Demands for Public Capital: Evidence from School Bond Referenda," Working Papers 0009, San Diego State University, Department of Economics.
  19. Silva, Fabio & Sonstelie, Jon, 1995. "Did Serrano Cause a Decline in School Spending," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(2), pages 199-215, June.
  20. Balsdon, Ed & Brunner, Eric J., 2005. "Can Competition Tame the Leviathan? Evidence from California's Proposition 39," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(4), pages 627-42, December.
  21. 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.
  22. Dennis Epple & Holger Sieg, 1999. "Estimating Equilibrium Models of Local Jurisdictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 645-681, August.
  23. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
  24. Andrew Reschovsky & Jennifer Imazeki, 2003. "Let No Child Be Left Behind: Determining the Cost of Improving Student Performance," Public Finance Review, , vol. 31(3), pages 263-290, May.
  25. 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.
  26. David S. Lee & Enrico Moretti & Matthew J. Butler, 2004. "Do Voters Affect Or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U. S. House," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 807-859, August.
  27. Brunner, Eric J. & Imazeki, Jennifer, 2008. "Tiebout choice and universal school vouchers," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 253-279, January.
  28. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1996. "Public Provision of Private Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 57-84, February.
  29. Elisabeth R. Gerber & Jeffrey B. Lewis, 2004. "Beyond the Median: Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
  30. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 1980. "Some Non-Nested Hypothesis Tests and the Relations Among Them," Working Papers 409, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  31. Gramlich, Edward M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1982. "Micro Estimates of Public Spending Demand Functions and Tests of the Tiebout and Median-Voter Hypotheses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 536-60, June.
  32. Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 2005. "How much more does a disadvantaged student cost?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 513-532, October.
  33. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Shapiro, Perry, 1982. "Micro-Based Estimates of Demand Functions for Local School Expenditures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1183-1205, September.
  34. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin & Andrea Moro, 2004. "The Performance of the Pivotal-Voter Model in Small-Scale Elections: Evidence from Texas Liquor Referenda," NBER Working Papers 10797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Holcombe, Randall G, 1980. "An Empirical Test of the Median Voter Model," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 260-74, April.
  36. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E., 1996. "Ends against the middle: Determining public service provision when there are private alternatives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 297-325, November.
  37. Rothstein, Paul, 1992. "The demand for education with 'power equalizing' aid : Estimation and simulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 135-162, November.
  38. Behrman, Jere R & Craig, Steven G, 1987. "The Distribution of Public Services: An Exploration of Local Governmental Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 37-49, March.
  39. Randall Holcombe, 1989. "The median voter model in public choice theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 115-125, May.
  40. Kalt, Joseph P & Zupan, Mark A, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 279-300, June.
  41. Hoxby, Caroline & Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Baqir, Reza, 2004. "Political Jurisdictions in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4553034, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  42. Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard & Munley, Vincent G., 1992. "Economic incentives and political institutions: Spending and voting in school budget referenda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-33, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Peter Haug, 2009. "Shadow Budgets, Fiscal Illusion and Municipal Spending: The Case of Germany," IWH Discussion Papers 9, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Berardino Cesi, 2009. "Local public education and childless voting : the arising of an "ends with the middle" coalition," THEMA Working Papers 2009-07, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2009-02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kasey Kniffin).

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.