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Evaluating the median voter model’s explanatory power

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  • Stadelmann, David
  • Portmann, Marco
  • Eichenberger, Reiner

Abstract

We match individual senators’ voting behavior on legislative proposals with 24 real referendum decisions on exactly the same issues with identical wording. This setting allows us to evaluate the median voter model’s quality with revealed constituents’ preferences. Results indicate a limited explanatory power of the median voter model: It explains 17.6% points more than random voting and that a senator’s probability to accept a proposal in parliament increases on average by 8.4% points when the district median voter accepts the proposal.

Suggested Citation

  • Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2012. "Evaluating the median voter model’s explanatory power," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(3), pages 312-314.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:114:y:2012:i:3:p:312-314
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2011.10.015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Garrett, Thomas A, 1999. "A Test of Shirking under Legislative and Citizen Vote: The Case of State Lottery Adoption," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 189-208, April.
    2. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    3. Bender, Bruce & Lott, John R, Jr, 1996. "Legislator Voting and Shirking: A Critical Review of the Literature," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 67-100, April.
    4. Lawrence Kenny & Babak Lotfinia, 2005. "Evidence on the importance of spatial voting models in presidential nominations and elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 439-462, June.
    5. Elisabeth R. Gerber & Jeffrey B. Lewis, 2004. "Beyond the Median: Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Reiner Eichenberger & David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann, 2012. "A comparative analysis of the voting behavior of constituents and their representatives for public debts," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 244-260, September.
    2. David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger & Marco Portmann, 2014. "Voting against the separation of powers between legislature and administration," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 207-229, June.
    3. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2015. "Income and policy choices: Evidence from parliamentary decisions and referenda," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 117-120.
    4. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2016. "The Influence of Party Affiliations on Representation of Voter Preferences in Majoritarian vs. Proportional Systems," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145705, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Marco Portmann & David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2013. "District magnitude and representation of the majority’s preferences—a reply and new perspectives," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(1), pages 149-151, January.
    6. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2013. "Quantifying parliamentary representation of constituents’ preferences with quasi-experimental data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 170-180.
    7. Serguei Kaniovski & David Stadelmann, 2015. "The Probability of Legislative Shirking: Estimation and Validation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2015-17, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    8. Stadelmann David & Portmann Marco & Eichenberger Reiner, 2016. "How Lobbying Affects Representation: Results for Majority-Elected Politicians," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-7, October.
    9. Diermeier, Matthias & Goecke, Henry & Niehues, Judith & Thomas, Tobias, 2017. "Impact of inequality-related media coverage on the concerns of the citzens," DICE Discussion Papers 258, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    10. Sascha Kurz, 2014. "Measuring Voting Power in Convex Policy Spaces," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-33, March.
    11. David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2012. "Do Female Representatives Adhere More Closely to Citizens’ Preferences Than Male Representatives?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    12. David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2012. "Preference Representation and the Influence of Political Parties in Majoritarian vs. Proportional Systems: An Almost Ideal Empirical Test," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-03, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    13. Marco Portmann & David Stadelmann, 2013. "Testing the Median Voter Model and Moving Beyond its Limits: Do Characteristics of Politicians Matter?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2013-05, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    14. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2014. "The law of large districts: How district magnitude affects the quality of political representation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 128-140.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Median voter model; Political representation; Constituents’ preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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