Predicting state budget deficits in two graphs
You might already have seen this graph John Sides drew up to test whether there is an obvious correlation between the strength of public-employee unions and state budget deficits. There isn't:
He's got some further graphs and commentary over at his place. If you use both state and local debt, you can perhaps see a weak relationship, but you have to be trying. But if you want a cleaner fit, do as Mike Konczal did and graph state budget deficits against negative equity, which serves here as a stand-in for the severity of that state's housing bubble.
"The mechanisms for how this contributes is important," writes Konczal. "[I]s it the unemployment? Is it that state governments with a larger housing bubble got more confident and spent as if all those property taxes were on their way? Are there other important, casual mechanisms? These are all good and crucial questions for us to answer, ones we should take up when we finish scapegoating teachers."
| February 23, 2011; 2:54 PM ET
Categories: Charts and Graphs
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