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The Economic Vote: How Political and Economic Institutions Condition Election Results [Paperback]

Raymond M. Duch , Randolph T. Stevenson

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Book Description

March 17 2008 0521707404 978-0521707404 1
This book proposes a selection model for explaining cross-national variation in economic voting: Rational voters condition the economic vote on whether incumbents are responsible for economic outcomes, because this is the optimal way to identify and elect competent economic managers under conditions of uncertainty. This model explores how political and economic institutions alter the quality of the signal that the previous economy provides about the competence of candidates. The rational economic voter is also attentive to strategic cues regarding the responsibility of parties for economic outcomes and their electoral competitiveness. Theoretical propositions are derived, linking variation in economic and political institutions to variability in economic voting. The authors demonstrate that there is economic voting, and that it varies significantly across political contexts, and then test explanations for this variation derived from their theory. The data consist of 165 election studies conducted in 19 different countries over a 20-year time period.

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Review

"Do elections offer voters the opportunity to select candidates of higher expected ability? Can voters evaluate the performance of the economy in order to do this? This bold book examines a quarter-century's data in eighteen countries to offer affirmative answers to these theoretical and empirical questions. It offers new and fundamentally important insights into relationship between economic management and candidate choice." - James E. Alt, Harvard University

"Duch and Stevenson have produced a formidable scholarly accomplishment in this book. They have synthesized and extended more than a quarter century of work on how the economy affects voter behavior in advanced industrialized nations. They have done so by carefully developing a unified theoretical model that gives conditions under voters do and do not exercise the economic vote and, more importantly, testing the predictions of this model on a new cross-national data-set using cutting edge methodology. It will surely influence the next generation of works." - Jonathan Katz, California Institute of Technology

"The Economic Vote is the definitive study of comparative economic voting in advanced Western democracies, as revealed by analysis of election surveys. Nothing close to it now exists in the literature." - Michael Lewis-Beck, University of Iowa

Book Description

The book explains how different political and economic circumstances account for the variation in the economic vote. Based on the analysis of 165 public opinion surveys from 19 countries, the authors demonstrate that their explanations are empirically sound.

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