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A Case in Applied Spatial Voting Theory: The Ayers Case and Legislative Constraints on Judicial Intervention in the University System of Mississippi/USA


  • Leyden, Dennis Patrick


Based on a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision, U.S. courts have attempted to get Mississippi's university system to remove vestiges of its segregated past. However, they have been constrained by the willingness of the legislature to comply. Using spatial voting theory, this paper predicts that if the legislature chooses to maintain the current racial mix of students, aggregate university funding will increase with resources transferred from historically white to historically black universities. If the legislature does not choose this, it will have to reduce student body racial differences across universities, in part through the manipulation of admission standards across historically white and historically black universities. Such a choice would be likely to reduce the number of black students system-wide. Although the case is not yet resolved, recent evidence suggests the legislature has chosen the first option.

Suggested Citation

  • Leyden, Dennis Patrick, 1998. "A Case in Applied Spatial Voting Theory: The Ayers Case and Legislative Constraints on Judicial Intervention in the University System of Mississippi/USA," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 53(3-4), pages 355-384.
  • Handle: RePEc:pfi:pubfin:v:53:y:1998:i:3-4:p:355-84

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