Social Context and Voting Over Taxes: Evidence from a Referendum in Alabama
37 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2006 Last revised: 8 Jun 2011
Date Written: December 2007
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: Suggested Citation