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Brown: Party cleavages and welfare effort in the American states

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.

Brown. 1995. Party cleavages and welfare effort in the American states. American Political Science Review 89: 23-34.

Scholars have found inconclusive results when studying whether Democratic control of the state government correlates with higher welfare spending. Brown points out that scholars have neglected an important variable: the nature of each state's cleavage system.

X: STATE PARTY CLEAVAGES

Using a novel technique, Brown shows which cleavages matter most in most states (see Table 2, pg 26). He then identifies three ideal types (see Table 3, pg 28):

Y: STATE WELFARE EFFORT

Hypothesis: States with a class-based (New Deal) cleavage will spend the most on welfare.

CONTROLS

State resources (income per capita vs size of welfare-receiving population), elite values (the liberalism of those in government), and racism (which is poorly measured; see below).

RESULTS

See Table 4, pg 30, for regression results. "New Deal" is the baseline category. Thus:

IN ENGLISH: The effect of party control is 9.5 times greater in New Deal states than in post-New Deal states, and 5.5 times stronger in New Deal states than in Southern states. All predictions are borne out.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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Tags

Brown, Robert (author)Political ScienceAmerican PoliticsSocial CleavagesPartiesDemographyState Politics (U.S.)Political Subcultures

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