|ln(Previous expenditure)||Previous year's expenditures in each category, a measure of incrementalism of government finance||U.S. Census Bureau|
|Interparty rivalry||The degree of political competition may be associated with higher government spending because representatives are likely to increase spending to ensure their incumbency. Clingermayer and Wood (1995) suggest that “1 minus the absolute value of the average annual proportionate partisan majority in the chambers of the state legislature.” A higher value means a split legislature.||National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)|
|Fiscal centralization||Greater fiscal centralization in states is likely to be related to higher state-level expenditures. It is the ratio of state expenditures to the sum of state and local government expenditures.||U.S. Census Bureau|
|ln(Intergovernmental grant)||Intergovernmental grants may increase state spending by providing additional income to the state. The effect is referred to as the “flypaper effect.” Measures the annual total amount of intergovernmental grants, not just from the federal government.||U.S. Census Bureau|
|Line-item veto||The presence of the line-item veto would reduce government spending by allowing a selective power to eliminate specific expenditures or tax proposals.||NCSL|
|Tax and expenditure limits (TELs)||A dummy variable that measures the presence of tax and expenditure limits. According to the policy objective, the introduction of TELs should cause state spending to decrease.||NCSL|
|Governor's party||A dichotomous dummy variable indicating whether a state has a Democratic governor. Liberal governments are generally believed to spend more on welfare than conservative governments.||Vital Statistics on American Politics|
|Election year||Politicians increase spending and other reflationary policies in the periods immediately before and after an election. A categorical variable equals 1 if it is a governor's election year.|| |
|Ideology (Government)|| |
Berry et al. (1998) compute a weighted average of the ideology scores to measure state government's political ideology as follows:
GOV TIDEOs,t = (.25)[(POW : DEM : LOWs,t)(ID : DEM : LOWs,t) + (POW : REP : LOWs,t)(ID : REP : LOWs,t)] + (.25)[(POW: DEM : UPPs,t)(ID : DEM : UPPs,t) + (POW : REP : UPPs,t)(ID : REP : UPPs,t)] + (.50)[ID : GOVs,t], where GOV TIDEOs,t is the overall ideology of government in state s in year t. (POW : DEM : LOWs,t), (POW : REP : LOWs,t), (POW : DEM : UPPs,t), and (POW : REP : UPPs,t) are the Democrats’ and Republicans’ shares of power within a state's lower and upper chambers, respectively (the shares sum to 1 in each chamber). (ID : DEM : LOWs,t), (ID : REP : LOWs,t), (ID : DEM : UPPs,t), and (ID : REP : UPPs,t) are the average ideology scores of Democrats and Republicans in a state's lower and upper chambers, respectively (all of which are assumed to equal the average ideology of the corresponding state Democratic or Republican congressional delegation). (ID : GOVs,t) is the governor's ideology, equal to the average ideology score of all members of the state legislature in the governor's party.
|Updated data from Evan Ringquista|
|Ideology (Citizen)|| |
Berry et al. (1998) measure U.S. states’ political ideology, relying on the roll call voting scores of state congressional delegations. The values of citizen and government ideology variables scatter from 0 to 100. A value of zero implies that citizens and governments of the state are extremely conservative; a value of 100 suggests that citizens and governments of the state are extremely liberal. The ideology indicators use interest group ratings of members of Congress, combining information from Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and Americans for Constitutional Action (ACA). ADA and ACA compute an average ideology score for each state's congressional delegation.
Berry et al. (1998) use this equation below to measure the state citizens’ ideology:
CITIDEOd,t = (INCSUPPd,t)(INCIDEOd,t) + (CHALSUPPd,t)(CHALIDEOd,t), where CITIDEOd,t denotes citizen ideology in district d in year t. INCSUPPd,t is the (estimated) proportion of the electorate in year t preferring district d’s incumbent, and CHALSUPP is the (estimated) proportion of the electorate preferring the challenger. INCIDEOd,t is the ideology score for district d’s incumbent in year t, and CHALIDEO is the (estimated) ideology score for the challenger.
Updated data from Evan Ringquista
|Age 18–64 (%)||Young residents (younger than 18) and elderly residents (older than 64) demand more publicly provided services such as public education and health care.||U.S. Census Bureau|
|ln(Urbanization)||Population residing in urban areas. It proxies for the degree of urbanization.||U.S. Census Bureau|
|ln(Population)||It controls for economies of scale in publicly provided services. I expect a negative relationship.||U.S. Census Bureau|
|Unemployment (%)||It proxies for potential claims to unemployment insurance and related welfare programs.||U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics|
|ln(Personal income)||The size of a state governments’ spending is expected to grow as personal income grows.||U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis|