Disentangling Patterns of State Debt Financing Academic Article uri icon


  • We examine the determinants of change in state government indebtedness from 1961 through 1989 using a pooled time series cross-sectional analysis. The analysis reveals that debt is primarily a function of economic conditions reflecting both the need to borrow and the capacity of states to repay debt. However, political factors such as culture, partisan competition, and electoral cycles also affect state debt. We also find very weak evidence that tax and expenditure limitations, ironically, may increase state indebtedness, while constitutional debt limitations have no effect upon slowing the growth of state debt.

published proceedings

  • American Political Science Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Clingermayer, J. C., & Dan Wood, B.

citation count

  • 111

complete list of authors

  • Clingermayer, James C||Dan Wood, B

publication date

  • March 1995