Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Public Affairs and Administration
Dr. Peter Kobrak
Dr. Robert Peters
Dr. Won Paik
In this study, the author tests two models of voting behavior to predict the likelihood of a public school millage passing. They are: (1) a rational-choice model, and (2) a social psychological model. The rational-choice model asserts that the likelihood of a school millage passing is a function of the millage's economic benefit as perceived by the voter. The social psychological model asserts that support for the local school millage is a function o f the voter's political attitudes and/or the salience of the ballot issue.
The author analyzed every millage election in the 561 (K-12) Michigan public school districts during the month o f June for the years 1990, 1991, and 1992. The logit regression findings show that the rational-choice model is successful in predicting school millage outcomes in two of the three years studied. The social psychological model, however, is successful in predicting school millage outcomes for all three years.
Specifically, the likelihood of a school millage passing is a function of the number of persons living in rural farm areas, the number of civilians unemployed within the school district, the amount of the millage renewal requested, the amount of the millage increase requested, and the past success rate of the school district in passing a millage referendum. Suggestions for future research are offered.
Petras, Christopher, "Millage Election Outcomes in Michigan Public School Districts: A Test of the Rational Choice and Social Psychological Voting Models" (1996). Dissertations. 1708.