We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation (SES-0001866) and the UCSD Civic Collaborative. Gerber acknowledges the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
Development Ballot Measures, Interest Group Endorsements, and the Political Geography of Growth Preferences
Version of Record online: 9 SEP 2003
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 47, Issue 4, pages 625–639, October 2003
How to Cite
Gerber, E. R. and Phillips, J. H. (2003), Development Ballot Measures, Interest Group Endorsements, and the Political Geography of Growth Preferences. American Journal of Political Science, 47: 625–639. doi: 10.1111/1540-5907.00044
- Issue online: 9 SEP 2003
- Version of Record online: 9 SEP 2003
In response to rapid population and economic growth, many communities have turned to voter initiatives to resolve their land use disputes. We find that despite strong public concern about growth, voters often support measures that allow or encourage new development. We consider the sources of this support by analyzing patterns of voting on a range of prodevelopment ballot initiatives. These initiatives provide a valuable opportunity to understand how economic self-interest, geography, interest group endorsements, and public goods affect citizen support for development policies. We find that interest group endorsements significantly increase public support for new development. These endorsements help voters evaluate the personal impact of complex development proposals and allow voters to behave in ways that reflect a high degree of sophistication.