State politics, tuition, and the dynamics of a political budget cycle
Curtis Reynolds ()
Empirical Economics, 2014, vol. 46, issue 4, 1270 pages
This paper attempts to improve the understanding of political budget cycles by first identifying a previously undocumented cycle in tuition and required fees at public four-year institutions of higher education in the United States. I find that tuition and fees are 1.5 % lower during gubernatorial election years than in non-election years. No similar cycle is found in private tuition and fees. Using a newly constructed dataset, I then explore the variation in electoral competition in gubernatorial and state legislative elections within states over time to uncover the underlying electoral incentives creating the cycle. The results suggest that the tuition cycle is not designed to increase the reelection prospects of governors as standard theories would predict. I find that tuition decreases during gubernatorial election years as the reelection prospects of the incumbent governor increases. Instead, the evidence suggests that popular governors use lower tuition as political pork to expand party power in the state by capturing swing districts in concurrent state legislative elections. I find that the magnitude of the cycle increases with the level of competition in state house elections and that the effect is concentrated among those districts held by the opposition party, particularly if those opposition districts are populated with voters likely to be responsive to tuition as a policy lever. These results reveal important dynamics about party competition within states in the United States and suggest that the electoral incentives driving political budget cycles can be complex. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014
Keywords: Elections; Political budget cycles; Higher education; D72; H72; H75; I22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:spr:empeco:v:46:y:2014:i:4:p:1241-1270
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... rics/journal/181/PS2
Access Statistics for this article
Empirical Economics is currently edited by Robert M. Kunst, Arthur H.O. van Soest, Bertrand Candelon, Subal C. Kumbhakar and Joakim Westerlund
More articles in Empirical Economics from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().