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Can Competition Tame the Leviathan? Evidence From California's Proposition 39

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  • Balsdon, Ed
  • Brunner, Eric J.

Abstract

In 2000, Californians voted on Proposition 39, a statewide ballot initiative that called for reducing the supermajority vote requirement on local school bond measures from two–thirds to 55 percent. This paper develops a model of voting behavior on that initiative. Our model predicts that support for lowering the supermajority vote requirement should increase as the degree of competition among school districts increases. Our analysis of vote returns from Proposition 39 supports this hypothesis. All else equal, moving from an area with little or no competition to an area with significant competition leads to a 13 percentage point increase in support for Proposition 39.

Suggested Citation

  • 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 627-642, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:58:y:2005:i:4:p:627-42
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Balsdon, Ed & Brunner, Eric J. & Rueben, Kim, 2003. "Private demands for public capital: evidence from school bond referenda," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 610-638, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric J. Brunner & Stephen L. Ross, 2007. "How Decisive Is the Decisive Voter?," Working papers 2007-28, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2008.
    2. Eric J. Brunner & Stephen L. Ross, 2009. "Is the Median Voter Decisive? Evidence of 'Ends Against the Middle' From Referenda Voting Patterns," Working papers 2009-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised May 2010.
    3. Brunner, Eric J. & Ross, Stephen L., 2010. "Is the median voter decisive? Evidence from referenda voting patterns," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 898-910, December.

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