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Attribution Error in Economic Voting: Evidence from Trade Shocks

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  • 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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    Keywords: Economic voting; Political agency problem;

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