How Decisive Is the Decisive Voter?

Publication Year:
2007
Usage 389
Downloads 249
Abstract Views 140
Repository URL:
https://opencommons.uconn.edu/econ_wpapers/200728
Author(s):
Brunner, Eric J.; Ross, Stephen L.
Tags:
Median Voter Hypothesis; Voting; School Spending
paper description
This paper examines whether the voter with the median income is decisive in local spending decisions. Previous tests have relied on cross-sectional data while we make use of a pair of California referenda to estimate a first difference specification. The referenda proposed to lower the required vote share for passing local educational bonding initiatives from 67 to 50 percent and 67 to 55 percent, respectively. The jurisdiction median income appears to accurately capture the expected outcomes of majority votes on public service spending, and voters rationally consider such future public service decisions when deciding how to vote on voting rules.