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Digging into the Pocketbook: Evidence on Economic Voting from Income Registry Data Matched to a Voter Survey




To paint a fuller picture of economic voters, we combine personal income records with a representative election survey. We examine three central topics in the economic voting literature: pocketbook versus sociotropic voting, the effects of partisanship on economic evaluations, and voter myopia. First, we show that voters who appear in survey data to be voting based on the national economy are, in fact, voting equally on the basis of their personal financial conditions. Second, there is strong evidence of both partisan bias and economic information in economic evaluations, but personal economic data is required to separate the two. Third, although in experiments and aggregate historical data recent economic conditions appear to drive vote choice, we find no evidence of myopia when we examine actual personal economic data.

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  • Healy, Andrew J. & Persson, Mikael & Snowberg, Erik, 2017. "Digging into the Pocketbook: Evidence on Economic Voting from Income Registry Data Matched to a Voter Survey," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 771-785, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:111:y:2017:i:04:p:771-785_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Bjorvatn, K & Galle, S & Berge, LIO & Miguel, E & Posner, DN & Tungodden, B & Zhang, K, 2021. "Elections and selfishness," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6c55s38q, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Mattozzi, Andrea & Snowberg, Erik, 2018. "The right type of legislator: A theory of taxation and representation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 54-65.
    3. Avdeenko, Alexandra, 2018. "Long-term evidence of retrospective voting: A natural experiment from the German Democratic Republic," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 83-107.
    4. Brännlund, Anton, 2021. "Zero per cent accountability? How low interest rates save governments from electoral defeats," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    5. Bernt Bratsberg & Andreas Kotsadam & Jo Thori Lind & Halvor Mehlum & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2019. "Election Turnout Inequality - Insights from Administrative Registers," CESifo Working Paper Series 7465, CESifo.
    6. Kiernan Fiona, 2019. "Public policy failure in healthcare: The effect of salary reduction for new entrant consultants on recruitment in public hospitals," Administration, Sciendo, vol. 67(2), pages 95-112, May.
    7. Meya, Johannes & Poutvaara, Panu & Schwager, Robert, 2020. "Pocketbook voting, social preferences, and expressive motives in referenda," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 185-205.
    8. Filipe R. Campante & Davin Chor & Bingjing Li, 2019. "The Political Economy Consequences of China's Export Slowdown," NBER Working Papers 25925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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