Voting functions in the EU-15
This paper examines whether the European integration process, by transferring policy instruments to supra-national authorities, has affected voters’ evaluations of governments’ economic performance at elections. The analysis is implemented on a panel of 15 EU countries, from 1970 to 2011. Results suggest that before the Maastricht Treaty, citizens held incumbents responsible for GDP growth and for the evolution of inflation, particularly when measured relative to the EU average. After the Maastricht Treaty, there was a significant reduction in the impact of economic variables, especially inflation, on electoral outcomes. During the current economic crisis the capacity to control the budget deficit appears to be the main determinant of incumbents’ vote shares. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013
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