How Much Elections Matter (About $2)

The left claims Republicans are heartless monsters who want to starve the poor, the right claims Democrats want to blow up the budget by giving massive handouts to the poor. So who is correct? Does giving someone $354 per month rather than $356 per month makes you a heartless monster? If your overall revenue is $10 billion a year (State of Michigan for example) is an extra $10 million in welfare going to bankrupt the State?

From the paper:

Even today, for example, electing a Democratic rather than Republican governor should be expected to increase monthly welfare payments by only $1-2 per recipient, and to increase by just half a percentage point the proportion of policies on which a state has the liberal policy option. These eff ects are small relative to policy diff erences across states. They are also small relative to the partisan divergence in legislative voting records. These results thus partially assuage the normative concern that partisan polarization has led to extreme policy swings, degrading the congruence between policy outcomes and citizens’ preferences.


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