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Measuring the Indirect Effect: Voter Initiatives and Legislative Production in the American States


  • Gregory M. Randolph

    (Department of Finance & Economics, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH, USA,


Recent research has identified important policy differences between voter initiative states and pure representative states despite a lack of enough observable voter initiative campaigns to explain the policy differences. This article investigates the indirect effects of the voter initiative process on legislative production by estimating the number of bills enacted in the American states. The results indicate that legislators in voter initiative states enact more legislation as the difficulty in qualifying a voter initiative for the ballot decreases, as the legislature is less able to alter the effects of successful voter initiatives, and as the average number of voter initiatives that appear on the ballot increases. These results provide some statistical evidence of the indirect effect of the voter initiative and are consistent with the theory that policy differences in voter initiative states are the result of the indirect effect of the voter initiative process.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory M. Randolph, 2010. "Measuring the Indirect Effect: Voter Initiatives and Legislative Production in the American States," Public Finance Review, , vol. 38(6), pages 762-786, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:38:y:2010:i:6:p:762-786

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    Cited by:

    1. Gregory Randolph, 2011. "The voter initiative and the power of the governor: evidence from campaign expenditures," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 265-286, September.
    2. John Matsusaka, 2014. "Disentangling the direct and indirect effects of the initiative process," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 160(3), pages 345-366, September.

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    direct democracy; fiscal policy;


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