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Attribution Error in Economic Voting: Evidence from Trade Shocks

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Author Info

  • Rosa C. Hayes

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Masami Imai

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)

  • Cameron A. Shelton

    ()
    (Claremont McKenna College)

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    Abstract

    This paper exploits the international transmission of business cycles to examine the prevalence of attribution error in economic voting in a large panel of countries from 1990-2009. We find that voters, on average, exhibit a strong tendency to oust incumbent governments during an economic downturn, regardless of whether the recession is home-grown or merely imported from trading partners. However, we find important heterogeneity in the extent of attribution error. A split sample analysis shows that countries with more experienced voters, more educated voters, and possibly more informed voters—all conditions which have been shown to mitigate other voter agency problems—do better in distinguishing imported from domestic growth.

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    File URL: http://repec.wesleyan.edu/pdf/mimai/2013009_imai.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Wesleyan University, Department of Economics in its series Wesleyan Economics Working Papers with number 2013-009.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2013-009

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    Related research

    Keywords: Economic voting; Political agency problem;

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    References

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    1. Ray C. Fair, 1976. "The Effects of Economic Events on Votes for President," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 418, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2011. "Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 923-947, 05.
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    4. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are Ceos Rewarded For Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932, August.
    5. Cole, Shawn & Healy, Andrew & Werker, Eric, 2012. "Do voters demand responsive governments? Evidence from Indian disaster relief," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 167-181.
    6. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
    7. Axel Dreher & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob de Haan, 2007. "Does High Inflation Cause Central Bankers to Lose Their Job? Evidence Based on a New Data Set," KOF Working papers 07-167, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    8. Paul J Burke, 2011. "Economic Growth and Political Survival," Departmental Working Papers 2011-06, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    9. Durlauf, Steven N. & Navarro, Salvador & Rivers, David A., 2010. "Understanding aggregate crime regressions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 158(2), pages 306-317, October.
    10. Michael Lewis-Beck & Mary Stegmaier, 2013. "The VP-function revisited: a survey of the literature on vote and popularity functions after over 40 years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 367-385, December.
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