EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

A Swing-State Theorem, with Evidence

Xiangjun Ma and John McLaren

No 24425, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We study the effects of local partisanship in a model of electoral competition. Voters care about policy, but they also care about the identity of the party in power. These party preferences vary from person to person, but they are also correlated within each state. As a result, most states are biassed toward one party or the other (in popular parlance, most states are either ‘red’ or ‘blue’). We show that, under a large portion of the parameter space, electoral competition leads to maximization of welfare with an extra weight on citizens of the ‘swing state:’ the one that is not biassed toward either party. The theory applies to all areas of policy, but since import tariffs are well-measured they allow a clean test. We show empirically that the US tariff structure is systematically biassed toward industries located in swing states, after controlling for other factors. Our best estimate is that the US political process treats a voter living in a non-swing state as being worth 77% as much as a voter in a swing state. This represents a policy bias orders of magnitude greater than the bias found in studies of protection for sale.

JEL-codes: D72 F13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Date: 2018-03
Note: ITI
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.nber.org/papers/w24425.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24425

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.nber.org/papers/w24425

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2019-10-15
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24425