Date of Graduation
Chambers College of Business and Economics
Russell S Sobel
This dissertation is a collection of papers that examines the effects of the voter initiative in U.S. states. Chapter 1 provides a brief introduction to the voter initiative process and outlines the research agenda for this dissertation. Chapter 2 explores the history of the voter initiative in U.S. states and examines the differences in the voter initiative process between states in the U.S. Additionally, this chapter provides a general survey of the literature regarding the effects of the voter initiative on political and economic outcomes. Chapter 3 examines the interest group orientation of total state spending in U.S. states. A measure for the publicness of state spending is calculated in order to examine the interest group influence on state spending in both voter initiative and non-initiative states. The results show that the voter initiative process does not decrease the interest group orientation of state expenditures. Chapter 4 investigates the impact of the voter initiative on total per capita state election cycle spending in state gubernatorial and state legislative elections. The results indicate that the availability of the voter initiative decreases the value of both state legislative and state gubernatorial offices. The impact of the voter initiative appears to have a larger negative effect on the value of state legislative offices in comparison to state gubernatorial offices. Chapter 5 empirically analyzes the impact of the voter initiative on the production of legislation in U.S. states. The amount of legislation enacted by state legislators is estimated in order to examine the effects of the voter initiative. This chapter also explores the impact of the voter initiative on the number of special sessions called in U.S. states. Finally, the effect of the voter initiative on the usage of the governor's veto in U.S. states is examined. The results indicate that voter initiative states enact more legislation, call a greater number of special sessions, and have less gubernatorial vetoes than non-initiative states. Chapter 6 summarizes the major findings in the dissertation, discusses the policy implications, and suggests future areas of research regarding the voter initiative.
Randolph, Gregory M., "Essays on the effects of the voter initiative in U.S. states" (2007). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4329.