Governor's Party Affiliation and Public Spending on Education and Health
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This paper investigates if the party affiliation of governors (Democratic vs. Republican) has an impact on their Health and Education spending using RDD and a long time period of fifty two years from 1960 to 2012. We match data from gubernatorial election and state partisan legislature with state government finances from the U.S. Census Bureau from 1960 to 2012. Using Regression Discontinuity Design, We compare budgetary decisions of governors with different political affiliation (Democratic vs. Republican) at closely contested elections to get causal partisan impact of the governors on spending. Results of this paper support gubernatorial partisan differences over budgetary decisions. Results indicate that Democrats rise government involvement to increase access to the public education and affordable health care by devoting higher portion of the budget, which are respectively 2.42 and 4.56 percentage points, toward Education and Health/ Hospital sectors. Results are robust to different controls such as state economic, demographic and political characteristics and several specifications including parametric with different polynomials and local linear regression.