Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
T. Wayne Parent
This dissertation presents the findings of research conducted to analyze the impact of black representation in state legislatures on state public welfare expenditures. Data is collected and analyzed for the period of 1970 through 1988. Black representation is operationalized as the percentage of blacks in the total number of legislators of both chambers of each state legislature. Public Welfare expenditures is operationalized as the percentage of the state expenditures classified as public welfare expenditures. Control variables included in the research are region, black population, urbanization, education, income, unemployment, political culture and state welfare employees. A pooled data time series method is employed to analyze the data. A generalized least squares regression model is computed and the results used to test hypotheses concerning the impact of each independent variable on the dependent variable--public welfare expenditures. The major hypothesis is that increases in black representation in state legislatures result in increased levels of public expenditures. It is hypothesized that eleven states in the South that have experienced significant increases in black representation will exhibit a greater impact of black representation on the levels of public welfare expenditures than states outside the South. The findings support the hypothesis that black representation is a significant variable in state welfare expenditures in the total data set. Black representation in the South has a negative impact on state public welfare expenditures. The performance of the region variable supports the theory that there is a significant difference between the eleven states in the South and the non-South states. Urbanization and state welfare employees are significant variables in the regression model. Unemployment is a significant variable but performs in a negative direction, opposite that hypothesized. Education and income perform in negative directions but are not significant. Political culture and black population perform in the hypothesized positive direction but are nonsignificant. The study concludes that black representation is a significant variable in models explaining policy impact and state expenditures.
Llorens, James L., "Black Empowerment in State Legislatures: The Impact of Black Representation on Public Welfare Expenditures in the American States, 1970-1988." (1992). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 5330.