Social Context and Voting Over Taxes: Evidence from a Referendum in Alabama

37 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2006 Last revised: 8 Jun 2011

See all articles by Christine H. Roch

Christine H. Roch

Georgia State University - Department of Public Management and Policy

Michael J. Rushton

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Date Written: December 2007

Abstract

We investigate the impact of racial diversity and segregation on white voter support for a comprehensive, progressive tax reform. We focus on a 2003 referendum held in Alabama, which if approved would have raised substantial additional revenues for public education and at the same time greatly increased the progressivity of the tax system. We use King's 1997) method of ecological inference to obtain estimates of white and black support for the referendum proposal, and we then attempt to explain the variance across counties in white voter support. We find that the degree of racial segregation, rather than the proportion of blacks in a given county, is most critical in predicting support for the referendum among whites at the county level.

Keywords: Voting, Race, Segregation, State Tax Policy

JEL Classification: D72, H71, J15

Suggested Citation

Roch, Christine H. and Rushton, Michael J., Social Context and Voting Over Taxes: Evidence from a Referendum in Alabama (December 2007). Andrew Young School Research Paper No. 06-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=890715 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.890715

Christine H. Roch (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Department of Public Management and Policy ( email )

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Michael J. Rushton

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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