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Election Cycles and the Economic Voter

Election Cycles and the Economic Voter Many studies have sought to clarify how voters' opinions of the economy predict evaluations of leaders and parties. Following Kramer's (1983) work on the problems of studying individual-level data, many authors have employed aggregate data in dynamic analyses to estimate rival models and choose favored variables. A restriction with such analyses is that they are unable to look closely at different periods within the overall study and thus may miss the importance of contextual factors. Our study complements existing aggregate-level inferences by analyzing repeated cross-sections of opinion polls in Britain over several years. We estimate the effects of subjective economic variables on vote intention in monthly public opinion surveys and examine how the parameters vary across individuals and over time. We suggest that the choices of whether voters are forward-looking, backward-looking, egocentric or sociotropic are overly restrictive. We find that the sociotropic dimension dominates the egocentric dimension in evaluations of the government and that the relative importance of prospective and retrospective evaluations vary in predictable patterns over the election cycle. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Research Quarterly SAGE

Election Cycles and the Economic Voter

Political Research Quarterly , Volume 59 (4): 14 – Dec 1, 2006

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References (38)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
1065-9129
eISSN
1938-274X
DOI
10.1177/106591290605900404
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Many studies have sought to clarify how voters' opinions of the economy predict evaluations of leaders and parties. Following Kramer's (1983) work on the problems of studying individual-level data, many authors have employed aggregate data in dynamic analyses to estimate rival models and choose favored variables. A restriction with such analyses is that they are unable to look closely at different periods within the overall study and thus may miss the importance of contextual factors. Our study complements existing aggregate-level inferences by analyzing repeated cross-sections of opinion polls in Britain over several years. We estimate the effects of subjective economic variables on vote intention in monthly public opinion surveys and examine how the parameters vary across individuals and over time. We suggest that the choices of whether voters are forward-looking, backward-looking, egocentric or sociotropic are overly restrictive. We find that the sociotropic dimension dominates the egocentric dimension in evaluations of the government and that the relative importance of prospective and retrospective evaluations vary in predictable patterns over the election cycle.

Journal

Political Research QuarterlySAGE

Published: Dec 1, 2006

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