Yandle (Regulation 7(3):12–16, 1983) proposed a “bootleggers and Baptists” framework to explain political coalition formation. Using mandatory disclosure reports, I document actual examples of such coalitions in Arkansas county-level elections to legalize alcohol. The coalitions often are composed of liquor stores in bordering counties where alcohol already is legal, along with churches and other religious organizations. Funding comes primarily from existing liquor stores, although religious organizations provide funding in some cases. Religious organizations contribute to the coalition in several non-monetary forms, which I also document in this article by reference to news reports and other sources. The results confirm Yandle’s theory of tacit coalitions.
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Comments from Harry David, Daniel Bennet, Christy Horpedahl, and three anonymous referees improved the paper considerably. The paper was presented at the 2017 Southern Economic Association conference in Tampa, FL at the 2018 Public Choice Society Meetings in Charleston, SC. The Arkansas Ethics Commission, especially Teresa Hastings, was very helpful in providing access to their archives for the data relied on in this paper. Thomas Moore provided excellent research assistance.
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Horpedahl, J. Bootleggers, Baptists and ballots: coalitions in Arkansas’ alcohol-legalization elections. Public Choice (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-020-00822-5
- Bootleggers and Baptists
- Dry counties