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Party loyalty as habit formation

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  • Ron Shachar

    (Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel 69978)

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    Abstract

    In most democracies, at least two out of any three individuals vote for the same party in sequential elections. This paper presents a model in which vote-persistence is partly due to the dependence of the utility on the previous voting decision. This dependence is termed 'habit formation'. The model and its implications are supported by individual-level panel data on the presidential elections in the USA in 1972 and 1976. For example, it is found that the voting probability is a function of the lagged choice variable, even when the endogeneity of the lagged variable is accounted for, and that the tendency to vote for different parties in sequential elections decreased with the age of the voter. Furthermore, using structural estimation the effect of habit is estimated, while allowing unobserved differences among respondents. The structural habit parameter implies that the effect of previous votes on the current decision is quite strong. The habit model fits the data better than the traditional 'party identification' model. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 251-269

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    Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:18:y:2003:i:3:p:251-269

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    1. Shachar, Ron, 1994. "A diagnostic test for the sources of persistence in individuals' decisions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 7-13, May.
    2. Bernhardt, M. Daniel & Ingerman, Daniel E., 1985. "Candidate reputations and the `incumbency effect'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 47-67, June.
    3. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    4. Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
    5. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 139-56, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Enikolopov, Ruben & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2003. "Decentralization and Political Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Kroh, Martin & Selb, Peter, 2009. "Inheritance and the Dynamics of Party Identification," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 559-574.
    3. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "A Structural Model of Turnout and Voting in Multiple Elections," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-021, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2006.
    4. Kevin Denny & Orla Doyle, 2006. "Does Voting History Matter? Analysing Persistence in Turnout," Working Papers 200607, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
    5. Brett Gordon & Mitchell Lovett & Ron Shachar & Kevin Arceneaux & Sridhar Moorthy & Michael Peress & Akshay Rao & Subrata Sen & David Soberman & Oleg Urminsky, 2012. "Marketing and politics: Models, behavior, and policy implications," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 391-403, June.
    6. Volker Grossmann, 2006. "On the Ideology Motive in Political Economy Models," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business, and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 5(1), pages 75-82, April.
    7. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "A Structural Model of Turnout and Voting in Multiple Elections, Fourth Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-025, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2007.
    8. Raphael Franck & Samia Tavares, 2008. "Income and vote switching between local and national elections: evidence from New York State," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(10), pages 1-10.
    9. Tomer Blumkin & Volker Grossmann, 2010. "May increased partisanship lead to convergence of parties’ policy platforms?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 547-569, December.
    10. Zvi Eckstein & Ron Shachar, 2007. "Correcting for bias in retrospective data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 657-675.
    11. Tomer Blumkin & Volker Grossmann, 2004. "Ideological Polarization, Sticky Information, and Policy Reforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 1274, CESifo Group Munich.

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