Party Politics, Governors, and Healthcare Expenditures
Economics & Politics, Forthcoming
Posted: 1 Nov 2014
Date Written: October 30, 2014
This study examines the impact of gubernatorial partisanship on the growth of healthcare expenditures (HCE) for a panel dataset of 50 U.S. states over the 1991-2009 period. Using the parametric regression discontinuity design, I find no partisan effect on the growth of state's per capita real total personal HCE. However, an analysis of the growth rates of the components of HCE suggests that there is a causal effect of party affiliation on the “prescription drugs” component. These findings are robust to the inclusion of additional covariates in the parametric approach as well to the use of the non-parametric regression discontinuity approach. The results further suggest that the impact of gubernatorial partisanship does not depend on the length of the governor's term in office.
Keywords: healthcare expenditures, regression discontinuity design, gubernatorial partisanship, political business cycle
JEL Classification: D72, C23, H51, H75, I18
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