Taxonomy: Racism versus Fiscal Conservatism in Voting on Segregationist Provisions in Alabama’s Constitution
Constitutional Political Economy
On Election Day 2004, a razor-thin majority of Alabama’s voters rejected a proposed amendment to remove overtly segregationist language from the state constitution. Opponents had contended that approval would have opened the legislative door to significantly higher taxes. We employ the results from two earlier special elections to analyze the outcome. In 2000, voters supported repealing a constitutional provision prohibiting interracial marriages. Three years later, Alabamians were asked to reveal their preferences with respect to additional taxation. The evidence suggests that opposition to higher taxes rather than bigotry was decisive in the rejection of Amendment 2 in 2004.
“Taxonomy: Racism versus Fiscal Conservatism in Voting on Segregationist Provisions in Alabama’s Constitution” (with Michael Reksulak), Constitutional Political Economy 19 (March 2008), pp. 61–80.