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The Impact of Minority Representation on Policy Outcomes: Evidence from the U.S. States

Ueda, Michiko (2008) The Impact of Minority Representation on Policy Outcomes: Evidence from the U.S. States. Social Science Working Paper, 1284. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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Over the last forty years, racial minorities in the United States have made substantial progress in achieving greater representation in legislatures. However, there is surprisingly little empirical evidence as to whether this has had any direct impact on policy outcomes. Exploiting two instances of ‘exogenous shocks’ that led to large increases in the number of African American legislators, this paper empirically tests the relationship between descriptive representation of minorities and substantive representation of their interests. By examining the school district-level data from the 1970s through the late 1990s across the United States, the paper finds statistically robust evidence that the political representation of African Americans is associated with a more equitable allocation of state aid to school districts, which suggests that representation of traditionally underrepresented groups can lead to tangible changes in public policy. The results are robust to controls for the effects of other political and demographic factors.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Additional Information:I am greatly indebted to Jim Snyder for his insight and encouragement. I would also like to thank Steve Ansolabehere, Jonathan Rodden, Shigeo Hirano, Kosuke Imai, Rod Kiewiet, Tetsuya Matsubayashi, Howard Rosenthal, Kenneth Shotts, Stephen Voss, and Ebonya Washington for their helpful feedback on earlier versions of this paper, and seminar participants at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Work in Progress Seminar, Identity Politics Seminar, practice job talk), California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Emory University, George Washington University, Harvard University, New York University, Princeton University, Yale University, the University of California at Davis, the University of Minnesota, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Virginia for their comments. William Evans and Sean Corcoran provided me with valuable advice on data set construction. Adam Ziegfeld provided superb editorial assistance. The paper was previously circulated as “Does Minority Representation Matter for Policy Outcomes?: Evidence from the U.S. States.”
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:1284
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170728-142011149
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:79551
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:02 Aug 2017 18:50
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:21

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