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This paper investigates whether reputation-building strategies guide U.S. governors’ state cigarette tax choices, and whether the federal cigarette tax influences such behavior. Using 1975-2000 data, we find evidence that governors in states with relatively important agricultural tobacco production and tobacco manufacturing, and which are densely populated by smokers, appear prone to reputation-building. Moreover, lame ducks are more prone to raise the state cigarette tax the lower the federal tax.



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