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Economic Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections: Who Blames Whom for What

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  • Eisenberg Daniel

    () (University of Michigan)

  • Ketcham Jonathan

    () (University of Southern California)

Abstract

In United States presidential elections, the incumbent party’s fortunes depend significantly on recent economic conditions, as numerous studies have shown. Many details of how economic voting takes place, however, are still not well understood. Here we present evidence on four issues. 1) Which is more important for determining people’s votes, national or local economic conditions? 2) What time frame do people consider in economic voting? 3) Which demographic groups are most sensitive to the economy in their voting behavior? 4) How does economic voting depend on the political context—in particular, whether a candidate is running for re-election, and whether the incumbent party also controls Congress? Our study includes the first county-level analysis of economic voting in presidential elections. We find the answers to our four questions are: 1) national conditions, by far; 2) the most recent year; 3) blacks, females, and the non-elderly; and 4) no.

Suggested Citation

  • Eisenberg Daniel & Ketcham Jonathan, 2004. "Economic Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections: Who Blames Whom for What," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-25, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:topics.4:y:2004:i:1:n:19
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    Cited by:

    1. Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2009. "Policymakers' horizon and the sustainability of international cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 549-558, April.
    2. Martinez, Leonardo, 2009. "A theory of political cycles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1166-1186, May.
    3. Artés, Joaquín, 2014. "The rain in Spain: Turnout and partisan voting in Spanish elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 126-141.
    4. Jeffrey S. DeSimone & Courtney LaFountain, 2007. "Still the Economy, Stupid: Economic Voting in the 2004 Presidential Election," NBER Working Papers 13549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Elinder, Mikael, 2010. "Local economies and general elections: The influence of municipal and regional economic conditions on voting in Sweden 1985-2002," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 279-292, June.
    6. Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2005. "Re-election Incentives and the Sustainability of International Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5401, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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