Bovay, John

By: Bovay, John; Sumner, Daniel A.
This article explains incentives that individuals face when deciding whether to support legislation on farm-animal treatment. We analyze precinct- and town-level voting patterns in two successful referendum votes (California’s Prop 2 and Massachusetts’s Question 3) that restricted animal-housing practices. In both cases, support for the referendum was positively correlated with support for the Democratic candidate for president and negatively correlated with employment in agriculture; support for Question 3 increased with income. We use our regression results to predict how voters in other U.S. states would have voted had they faced similar referendums in 2008 and 2016.
By: Bovay, John; Alston, Julian M.
Many U.S. states have been considering proposals to introduce mandatory labeling requirements for foods containing GMOs. This paper analyzes precinct-level voting patterns in the case of California’s Proposition 37, which was narrowly defeated in the November 2012 ballot. Those voting patterns can be predicted primarily by support for Democrats, their platforms, and President Obama. Projections using our estimated model imply that a majority of voters in only three of fifty states (Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont) plus the District of Columbia would have passed Proposition 37 had it been on their ballots in 2012.