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Does the Median Voter or Special Interests Determine State Highway Expenditures? Recent Evidence

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  • Joshua Hall

    (West Virginia University, Department of Economics)

  • Shree Baba Pokharel

    (West Virginia University, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Using cross-sectional data from fifty states of the United States and the District of Columbia for two different time periods, this paper examines the degree to which special interests or the median voter determines state highway expenditures. In addition to finding that previous estimates of the determinants of state highway expenditures are robust, we find that that special interests that were important in 1984 were no longer significant nearly 20 years later. Like the previous literature, we conclude that the reduced form median voter model performs well in explaining state highway expenditures.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Hall & Shree Baba Pokharel, 2016. "Does the Median Voter or Special Interests Determine State Highway Expenditures? Recent Evidence," Working Papers 16-09, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wvu:wpaper:16-09
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Russell S. Sobel & Joshua Hall, 2016. "Has the War between the Rent Seekers Escalated?," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 36(1), pages 47-53, Winter.
    2. Congleton, Roger D & Bennett, Randall W, 1995. "On the Political Economy of State Highway Expenditures: Some Evidence of the Relative Performance of Alternative Public Choice Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 1-24, July.
    3. James LeSage & Matthew Dominguez, 2012. "The importance of modeling spatial spillovers in public choice analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 525-545, March.
    4. Joni Hersch & Alison F. Del Rossi & W. Kip Viscusi, 2004. "Voter Preferences and State Regulation of Smoking," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(3), pages 455-468, July.
    5. Leonard E. Burman & W. Robert Reed & James ALm, 2011. "A Call for Replication Studies," Public Finance Review, , vol. 39(1), pages 190-190, January.
    6. Thomas A. Garrett & Russell S. Sobel, 2003. "The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 496-509, July.
    7. Michael L. Walden & Gunce Eryuruk, 2012. "Determinants of Local Highway Spending in N orth C arolina," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 462-481, September.
    8. Ahmed, Sultan & Greene, Kenneth V, 2000. "Is the Median Voter a Clear-Cut Winner? Comparing the Median Voter Theory and Competing Theories in Explaining Local Government Spending," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(3-4), pages 207-230, December.
    9. William Shughart, 2006. "Katrinanomics: The politics and economics of disaster relief," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 31-53, April.
    10. Peterson, George E, 1986. "Urban Road Reinvestment: The Effects of External Aid," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 159-164, May.
    11. Joshua Hall & Amanda Ross & Christopher Yencha, 2015. "The political economy of the Essential Air Service program," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 147-164, October.
    12. R. K. Goel & M. A. Nelson, 2003. "Use or abuse of highway tax revenues? An economic analysis of highway spending," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(13), pages 813-819.
    13. Russell S. Sobel & Christopher Coyne & Peter Leeson, 2009. "The Political Economy of FEMA: Did Reorganization Matter?," Working Papers 09-10, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    14. Joshua Hall & Jesse Schiefelbein, 2011. "The Political Economy of Medical Marijuana Laws," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 39(2), pages 197-198, June.
    15. Oakland, William H., 1972. "Congestion, public goods and welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 339-357, November.
    16. Roger Congleton, 2006. "The story of Katrina: New Orleans and the political economy of catastrophe," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 5-30, April.
    17. Scott A. Beaulier & Joshua C. Hall & Allen K. Lynch, 2011. "The impact of political factors on military base closures," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 333-342, December.
    18. Sutter, Daniel & Poitras, Marc, 2002. "The Political Economy of Automobile Safety Inspections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 367-387, December.
    19. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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    1. repec:spr:jecfin:v:42:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s12197-017-9420-z is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Joshua C. Hall & Christopher Shultz & E. Frank Stephenson, 2018. "The political economy of local fracking bans," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 42(2), pages 397-408, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    median voter model; special interests; highway expenditures;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H49 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Other
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories

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