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Voting Behaviour and the Economy: Evidence from Greece

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  • E Goulas
  • C Kallandranis
  • A Zervoyianni

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between Greek voters’ behaviour and the economy, paying particular attention to the effect on two non-traditional, antisystemic parties, Syriza and Golden Dawn. We use data based on actual vote shares across 13 Greek peripheries from four general elections over the period 2004–2012. Our results are in accordance with the prediction of the punishmentsanctioning model, namely that incumbents are supported by voters in good times, whereas voters punish them during bad times. In this vein, we document that worsening economic conditions since 2008 have led the Greek electorate to reduce support for traditional parties and move to non-traditional populist parties, like the left-wing Syriza and the ultra-right-wing Golden Dawn. Yet we find an asymmetry between these two non-systemic parties: while electoral support for Syriza is found to be strongly influenced by changes in per-capita GDP growth and unemployment, this is not the case for Golden Dawn. Indeed, our estimates suggest that the increased electoral support for Golden Dawn has been related mainly to the forced fiscal deficit cuts associated with Greece’s bailout programme. This suggests that the Greek electorate does not believe that Golden Dawn can effectively address the country’s economic problems.

Suggested Citation

  • E Goulas & C Kallandranis & A Zervoyianni, 2019. "Voting Behaviour and the Economy: Evidence from Greece," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 24(1), pages 35-58, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eis:articl:119goulas
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic voting; elections; Golden Dawn; Greek crisis; panel data; populist voting; Syriza;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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