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Vote share and return rates: A comparison of two measures of election outcomes


  • Joseph McGarrity


This paper compares two measures of House election outcomes: return rates and vote share for presidential party incumbents. It is found that these election variables move independently from each other. The empirical work discovers that the relationship between return rates and vote share varies as vote share increases and as time progresses. It reports that economic variables explain movement in return rates independent of vote share, but economic variables cannot explain variation in vote share independent of return rates. These results suggest return rates are more sensitive to economic fluctuations than vote share. This paper also finds that the magnitude of the response to changes in economic variables differs across these two election result terms. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2001

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph McGarrity, 2001. "Vote share and return rates: A comparison of two measures of election outcomes," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 29(3), pages 294-303, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:29:y:2001:i:3:p:294-303
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02300550

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Peltzman, Sam, 1990. "How Efficient Is the Voting Market?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 27-63, April.
    3. Grier, Kevin B & McGarrity, Joseph P, 1998. "The Effect of Macroeconomic Fluctuations on the Electoral Fortunes of House Incumbents," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 143-161, April.
    4. Alesina, Alberto & Londregan, John, 1993. "A Model of the Political Economy of the United States," Scholarly Articles 4552529, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:69:y:1975:i:04:p:1232-1239_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:67:y:1973:i:02:p:540-554_14 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:01:p:12-33_09 is not listed on IDEAS
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