Gramlich, Edward M.; Rubinfeld, Daniel L.; Swift, Deborah A.
March 1981
National Tax Journal;Mar81, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p115
Academic Journal
The paper is a sequel to a previous study (NTJ, March 1980) in which we surveyed 2001 Michigan households to see why they voted for or against some tax limitation proposals on the 1978 ballot. Here we use the same survey to explain why voters went to the polls in the first place. We use an iterative least squares technique to estimate a parameter reflecting the propensity of non-voters to vote "yes" on a tax limit amendment, finding that they were approximately as likely to vote for it as "no" voters. Translated, this means that the "true believers" in tax limitation turned out and voted yes. while those not in favor apparently had milder preferences such that the turnout choice among the latter group was close to random. This supports a variant of what political scientists call the "alienation" theory.


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