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Pick Your Poison: Do Politicians Regulate When They Can’t Spend?

Author

Listed:
  • Johnson, Noel D
  • Matthew, Mitchell
  • Yamarik, Steven

Abstract

We investigate whether laws restricting fiscal policies across U.S. states lead politicians to adopt more partisan regulatory policy instead. We first show that partisan policy outcomes do exist across U.S. states, with Republicans cutting taxes and spending and Democrats raising them. We then demonstrate that these partisan policy outcomes are moderated in states with no-carry restrictions on public deficits. Lastly, we test whether unified Republican or Democratic state governments regulate more when constrained by no-carry restrictions. We find no-carry laws restrict partisan fiscal outcomes but tend to lead to more partisan regulatory outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, Noel D & Matthew, Mitchell & Yamarik, Steven, 2012. "Pick Your Poison: Do Politicians Regulate When They Can’t Spend?," MPRA Paper 37430, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37430
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/37430/1/MPRA_paper_37430.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:04:p:811-828_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Coughlin, Peter & Nitzan, Shmuel, 1981. "Electoral outcomes with probabilistic voting and Nash social welfare maxima," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 113-121, February.
    3. Coughlin, Peter & Nitzan, Shmuel, 1981. "Directional and local electoral equilibria with probabilistic voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 226-239, April.
    4. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753.
    5. Reed, W. Robert, 2006. "Democrats, republicans, and taxes: Evidence that political parties matter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 725-750, May.
    6. Brambor, Thomas & Clark, William Roberts & Golder, Matt, 2006. "Understanding Interaction Models: Improving Empirical Analyses," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(01), pages 63-82, December.
    7. Bryan Caplan, 2001. "Has Leviathan Been Bound? A Theory of Imperfectly Constrained Government with Evidence from the States," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 825-847, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Regulation; Taxation; Local Public Finance; U.S. States; Balanced Budget Rules;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact

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