Voter Preferences, Institutions, and Economic Freedom

17 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2016

See all articles by George R. Crowley

George R. Crowley

Troy University - Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy

John A. Dove

Troy University - Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy

Daniel Sutter

Troy University - Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy

Date Written: January 2017

Abstract

The enormous impact that economic freedom can have on economic outcomes makes an understanding of the factors or forces affecting its level paramount. To what extent do citizen preferences regarding the role of government in the economy drive the level of or changes in economic freedom? We explore this question using a new index of voting in the U.S. Congress constructed consistent with the Fraser Institute indices of economic freedom. We use voting on national legislation to examine state‐level economic freedom to clearly separate the measurement of preferences from policies that at least partly reflect these preferences. We find that Congressional votes, both from the House and Senate, are related to increases in state economic freedom, and that the result is generally statistically and economically significant, and robust to inclusion of a variety of socioeconomic control variables.

JEL Classification: D72, H10, H50

Suggested Citation

Crowley, George R. and Dove, John A. and Sutter, Daniel, Voter Preferences, Institutions, and Economic Freedom (January 2017). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 35, Issue 1, pp. 76-92, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2873953 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/coep.12168

George R. Crowley (Contact Author)

Troy University - Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy ( email )

Bibb Graves Hall
Troy, AL 36082
United States

John A. Dove

Troy University - Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy ( email )

Bibb Graves Hall
Troy, AL 36082
United States

Daniel Sutter

Troy University - Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy ( email )

Bibb Graves Hall
Troy, AL 36082
United States

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