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Getting what we vote for: A regression discontinuity test of ballot initiative outcomes

Trey Dronyk-Trosper

Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2017, vol. 64, issue C, 46-56

Abstract: What do voters really receive when they vote? This paper exploits 25 years of municipal level voting data in Massachusetts to identify the specific effects of voter approved ballots. In particular, this analysis attempts to determine the degree to which the median voter preferences are reflected in public expenditures. The findings suggest that voters see little change in expenditures, regardless of voting outcomes. To my knowledge, this paper is the first of its kind to directly link voting outcomes with non capital expenditure outcomes. This has important implications for discussing frictions that arise between voter preferences and local public expenditures.

Keywords: Local budgets; Voting; Regression discontinuity; Education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H71 I22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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