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Evaluating the median voter model’s explanatory power

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

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 114 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 312-314

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:114:y:2012:i:3:p:312-314
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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. 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.
  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. 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.
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