The Impact of Voter Initiatives on Economic Activity

Wellesley College Working Paper No. 2001-07

35 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2001

See all articles by Akila Weerapana

Akila Weerapana

Wellesley College - Department of Economics

S. Brock Blomberg

Ursinus College

Gregory D. Hess

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Date Written: August 2001

Abstract

Recent studies have claimed that states with initiative systems of legislation use this more direct form of democracy to improve productive resource allocation. This paper compares the economic performance of states with initiatives to states that do not have initiatives. We first construct a simple growth model to identify the channel through which initiatives play an important role in determining economic activity; we then test the implications of this model using data for the 48 contiguous United States over the years 1969-1986. Our findings suggest that the states with initiative systems waste between 20 to 30 percent fewer resources than do non-initiative states resulting in better economic performance in terms of higher GDP growth and faster convergence.

Keywords: growth, initiatives, voting

JEL Classification: H1, H5, H8

Suggested Citation

Weerapana, Akila and Blomberg, S. Brock and Hess, Gregory D., The Impact of Voter Initiatives on Economic Activity (August 2001). Wellesley College Working Paper No. 2001-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=288429 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.288429

Akila Weerapana (Contact Author)

Wellesley College - Department of Economics ( email )

106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02181
United States
(781)283-2300 (Phone)
(781)283-2177 (Fax)

S. Brock Blomberg

Ursinus College ( email )

Collegeville, PA 19426-2562
United States

Gregory D. Hess

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

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