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Fiscal Effects of Putting Initiatives on the Ballot: Evidence from the Last 20 Years in the United States

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Listed:
  • Agnese Sacchi
  • Aline Pennisi

Abstract

This paper investigates both the indirect (i.e. the existence) and the direct effects (i.e. the usage) of direct democracy institutions on major fiscal outcomes across the United States over the 1992-2009 period. Being based on a more recent time span than previous contributions, our work includes detailed information such as the type of institution (i.e. direct or indirect initiative), the voting outcome, and the topics of concern. The main results suggest that States permitting initiatives spend and tax less than those without, confirming some previous findings. However, when initiatives are effectively used, their practice contributes to increase spending among those States allowing them. The intensity of different initiatives also matters for fiscal outcomes as well as the nature of topics involved.

Suggested Citation

  • Agnese Sacchi & Aline Pennisi, 2014. "Fiscal Effects of Putting Initiatives on the Ballot: Evidence from the Last 20 Years in the United States," Review of Economics and Institutions, Universit√† di Perugia, vol. 5(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:pia:review:v:5:y:2014:i:1:n:2
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    voter initiatives; fiscal policy; positive constitutional economics; state government;

    JEL classification:

    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada

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