Testing political economy’s ‘as if’ proposition: is the median income voter really decisive?
Recent empirical and normative analysis of local government fiscal performance has made good use of the Downsian median voter model as a behavioral specification for how local fiscal allocations are decided. The central assumption behind all these studies is that the median voter is the family with the median income. This paper statistically tests the validity of this assumption for a sample of 58 Long Island school districts. For at most 1/4 of the districts can we reject the assumption, and even for these districts, the predictive bias of the median-income-voter-as-decisive assumption never exceeds 20%. Copyright Springer 1978
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