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Who votes for public environmental goods in California?: Evidence from a spatial analysis of voting for environmental ballot measures

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  • Wu, Xiaoyu
  • Cutter, Bowman

Abstract

Voting referenda provide direct evidence of the demand for public goods. A number of previous studies have used referenda to analyze the support for public environmental goods. These studies have used aggregate data from large jurisdictional units (usually counties) and summary income measures such as the mean or median, and have usually found that higher income areas offer greater support for environmental propositions. We examine environmental referenda voting in California using census block group data, spatial dependence controls, and detailed income distribution data. We find that household income has a negative marginal effect on environmental referenda voting for most of the income range when using census block data. In addition, controls for spatial dependence significantly reduce the magnitude of most coefficients. This suggests that OLS estimates of referenda determinants are biased. We also show that county level data may be subject to severe aggregation bias and might not be appropriate for referenda studies.

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  • Wu, Xiaoyu & Cutter, Bowman, 2011. "Who votes for public environmental goods in California?: Evidence from a spatial analysis of voting for environmental ballot measures," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 554-563, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:3:p:554-563
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Altonji, Matthew & Lang, Corey & Puggioni, Gavino, 2016. "Can urban areas help sustain the preservation of open space? Evidence from statewide referenda," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 82-91.
    2. Maennig, Wolfgang & Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Steenbeck, Malte, 2016. "Après nous le déluge? Direct democracy and intergenerational conflicts in aging societies," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145793, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Simcoe, Timothy & Toffel, Michael W., 2014. "Government green procurement spillovers: Evidence from municipal building policies in California," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 411-434.
    4. Andreas Ziegler, 2017. "Economic calculus or personal and social values? A micro-econometric analysis of the acceptance of climate and energy policy measures," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201716, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    5. Heintzelman, Martin D. & Walsh, Patrick J. & Grzeskowiak, Dustin J., 2013. "Explaining the appearance and success of open space referenda," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 108-117.
    6. Guilherme Mendes Resende & Tulio A. Cravo, 2014. "What about regions in regional science? A convergence exercise using different geographic scales of European Union," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(3), pages 1381-1395.
    7. Kahn, Matthew E. & Barron, Kyle, 2015. "The Political Economy of State and Local Investment in Pre-K Programs," IZA Discussion Papers 9337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Schumacher, Ingmar, 2014. "An Empirical Study of the Determinants of Green Party Voting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 306-318.
    9. Millard-Ball, Adam, 2012. "Do city climate plans reduce emissions?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 289-311.

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