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Abstract

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.

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