Date of Award

8-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Economics

Advisor

Dr. William R. Dougan

Committee Member

Dr. Patrick L. Warren

Committee Member

Dr. Robert K. Fleck

Committee Member

Dr. Robert D. Tollison

Abstract

The Correlation between income and voting is very different based on what part of the country a voter resides. In rural areas, there is a strong and negative correlation between income and probability of voting for a Democratic Presidential Candidate, while in urban areas, the correlation is much weaker. This paper shows that once you control for not only individual specific characteristics of voters but also geographic characteristics such as racial diversity, population density, and economic diversity, the regional differences between the effects of income on voting disappears. One potential explanation for this geographical significance is in urban areas the high population density creates more interaction between economic classes that better allows more affluent individuals to observe the benefits associated with government redistribution more so than in a rural area. These geographic characteristics play a similar role when examining how different regions of the country fund elementary and secondary public education (chapter 2) as well as voters' stances on taxation and welfare programs (chapter 3).

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