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Saying No to Abstinence-Only Education: An Analysis of State Decision-Making

Listed author(s):
  • Alesha E. Doan
  • Deborah R. McFarlane
Registered author(s):

    As a rule, American states try to maximize their share of federal funds. This study addresses an unusual case of states rejecting federal dollars. Here, the spurned monies were block grants for abstinence-only education, intended to discourage adolescent sexual activity. These grants became available in 1998, but by 2009, twenty-five states had rejected them. Using a conceptual framework drawn from fiscal federalism and morality politics, we explore the dynamics of these state decisions through an event history analysis. The results suggest that states' rejection of abstinence-only funds were largely driven by partisanship and ideology rather than by fiscal maximization or state needs. We argue that this case is a bellwether for fiscal federalism in a polarized polity. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Publius: The Journal of Federalism.

    Volume (Year): 42 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (October)
    Pages: 613-635

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:publus:v:42:y:2012:i:4:p:613-635
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