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Economic Voting And Electoral Behavior: How Do Individual, Local, And National Factors Affect The Partisan Choice?

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  • Andrew Leigh

Abstract

What impact do income and other demographic factors have on a voter's partisan choice? Using post-election surveys of 14,000 voters in 10 Australian elections between 1966 and 2001, I explore the impact that individual, local, and national factors have on voters' decisions. In these 10 elections, the poor, foreign-born, younger voters, voters born since 1950, men, and those who are unmarried are more likely to be left-wing. Over the past 35 years, the partisan gap between men and women has closed, but the partisan gap has widened on three dimensions: between young and old; between rich and poor; and between native-born and foreign-born. At a neighborhood level, I find that, controlling for a respondent's own characteristics, and instrumenting for neighborhood characteristics, voters who live in richer neighborhoods are more likely to be right-wing, while those in more ethnically diverse or unequal neighborhoods are more likely to be left-wing. Controlling for incumbency, macroeconomic factors do not seem to affect partisan preferences - Australian voters apparently regard both major parties as equally capable of governing in booms and busts. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics & Politics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2005)
Issue (Month): (07)
Pages: 265-296

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:17:y:2005:i::p:265-296

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  1. Andrew Leigh, 2004. "Deriving Long-Run Inequality Series from Tax Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 476, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 1998. "Attitudes to Ethnic Minorities, Ethnic Context and Location Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrew Leigh, 2008. "Bringing Home the Bacon: An empirical analysis of the extent and effects of pork-barreling in Australian politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 580, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Eric J. Brunner & Stephen L. Ross & Ebonya L. Washington, 2011. "Does Less Income Mean Less Representation?," NBER Working Papers 16835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Amy King & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Bias at the Ballot Box? Testing Whether Candidates' Gender Affects Their Vote," CEPR Discussion Papers 625, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. Eric Brunner & Stephen L. Ross & Ebonya Washington, 2008. "Economics and Ideology: Causal Evidence of the Impact of Economic Conditions on Support for Redistribution and Other Ballot Proposals," Working papers 2008-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2008.
  5. Andrew Leigh, 2006. "How Do Unionists Vote? Estimating the Causal Impact of Union Membership on Voting Behaviour from 1966 to 2004," CEPR Discussion Papers 516, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  6. Erzo F.P. Luttmer & Monica Singhal, 2008. "Culture, Context, and the Taste for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Magnus Söderberg & Makoto Tanaka, 2012. "Spatial price homogeneity as a mechanism to reduce the threat of regulatory intervention in locally monopolistic sectors," Working Papers hal-00659458, HAL.
  8. Elinder, Mikael, 2010. "Local Economies and General Elections: The Influence of Municipal and Regional Economic Conditions on Voting in Sweden 1985–2002," Working Paper Series 821, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Chang Wen-Chun, 2008. "Toward Independence or Unification?," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 1-32, January.

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