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Racial Context and Voting over Taxes


  • Christine H. Roch

    (Georgia State University)

  • Michael Rushton

    (Indiana University)


The authors investigate the impact of racial diversity and segregation on white voter support for a comprehensive, progressive tax reform, focusing on a 2003 referendum held in Alabama, which if approved would have raised substantial additional revenues for public education and at the same time greatly increased the progressivity of the tax system. The authors use King's method of ecological inference to obtain estimates of white and black support for the referendum proposal and then attempt to explain the variance across counties in white voter support. Findings show that the degree of racial segregation, rather than the proportion of blacks in a given county, is most critical in predicting support for the referendum among whites at the county level.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine H. Roch & Michael Rushton, 2008. "Racial Context and Voting over Taxes," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(5), pages 614-634, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:36:y:2008:i:5:p:614-634

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Russel Weaver & Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen, 2015. "Racially Polarized Voting in a Southern U.S. Election: How Urbanization and Residential Segregation Shape Voting Patterns," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 45(1), pages 15-34, Spring.

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    voting; race; segregation; state tax policy;


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