Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Christine Roch (Georgia State University, Department of Economics) & Hael J. Rushton (Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies) have posted Social Context and Voting Over Taxes: Evidence from a Referendum in Alabama on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
We investigate the relationship between racial diversity and support for redistribution and the financing of public goods. We focus on a 2003 referendum held in Alabama, which if approved would have amended Alabama's Constitution, raising substantial additional revenues for public education and at the same time greatly increasing the progressivity of the tax system. Using King's (1997) method of ecological inference to obtain estimates of white and black support for the referendum proposal, we use a weighted least-squares method suggested by King and find: first, that white support for the referendum was significantly less than black support; second, that white support for the proposal increased with the degree of racial and ethnic diversity by county, although diversity seemed to have only a weak effect on black support; and, third, that diversity remains significant in explaining white support even after accounting for the county's degree of segregation. In addition, we also examine the influence of a county's socio-economic context, finding some evidence of greater support for the referendum by white voters in more educated contexts and that the county's economic environment influenced support among blacks. After controlling for these socio-economic variables, diversity continues to significantly influence support. We explore the robustness of these results using both OLS and an FGLS approach suggested by Lewis and Linzer (2005).