Tax earmarking, party politics and gubernatorial veto: theory and evidence from US states
This paper provides a theory of earmarking based on the relative power of a legislature and executive. The politically powerful use earmarking as a means of resolving uncertainty and insulating preferred policy from the reach of future government. Tax revenue will be earmarked more often when political power is unified under one party or when a party has the legislative majority needed to overturn a gubernatorial veto. An empirical test of the theoretical predictions are conducted using a panel of data for US states. A state with a legislature controlled by a single party with a large enough majority to overturn a gubernatorial veto will earmark 5% more of its tax revenue than other states and a state with a unified government will earmark 6.5% more. Together these explain 18.5% of the observed decrease in the percentage of state tax revenues earmarked from 1954 to 1997. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013
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Volume (Year): 155 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
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