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Party Differences in State Budget Outcomes Are There After All: Response to “Reexamining the Dynamic Model of Divided Partisan Government”



Alt and Lowry (2000) show that Democrats generally target more of state income for public budgets than do Republicans, though exact party positions vary from state to state, and unified governments adjust faster than divided. McAtee, Yackee, and Lowery (2003) question these results. However, their estimated revenue changes ignore income shares, usually set independent variables equal to sample rather than subsample means, and omit some fixed effects. Modeling short-run changes during transitions must take note of different conditions under which different partisan configurations assume power. When their estimates do this, predicted revenue changes relative to income line up as we expected. Their analysis raises other issues regarding polarization and the distribution of partisan configurations across space and time that merit further investigation.