Title: Economic Policy Voting and Incumbency: Unemployment in Western Europe
Authors: Dassonneville, Ruth ×
Lewis-Beck, Michael S. #
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Series Title: Political Science Research and Methods vol:1 issue:1 pages:53-56
Abstract: The economic voting literature has been dominated by the incumbency-oriented hypothesis, where voters reward or punish government at the ballot box according to economic performance. The alternative, policy-oriented hypothesis, where voters favor parties closest to their issue position, has been neglected in this literature. We explore policy voting with respect to an archetypal economic policy issue – unemployment. Voters who favor lower unemployment should tend to vote for left parties, since they “own” the issue. Examining a large time-series cross-sectional (TSCS) pool of Western European nations, we find some evidence for economic policy voting. However, it exists in a form conditioned by incumbency. According to varied tests, left incumbents actually experience a net electoral cost, if the unemployment rate climbs under their regime. Incumbency, then, serves to break any natural economic policy advantage that might accrue to the left due to the unemployment issue.
ISSN: 2049-8470
VABB publication type: VABB-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Centre for Political Research
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

Files in This Item:
File Description Status SizeFormat
PSRM_summary.pdfsummary article Published 170KbAdobe PDFView/Open


All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.