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Dynamic models of the voter's decision calculus: Incorporating retrospective considerations into rational-choice models of individual voting behavior

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  • Martin Zechman

Abstract

Since Kramer's article (1971), a growing body of literature indicates that U.S. national elections can be viewed as referenda on the performance of incumbent administrations. Retrospective considerations, however, have not been explicitly incorporated into a spatial model of party competition. The model of voting behavior presented in this paper provides a mechanism for the inclusion of these retrospective considerations into spatial models. Borrowing liberally from the concepts of Bayesian decision theory, this model allows the voter to use all of his political information in estimating a party's future program. Retrospective considerations are represented by the voter's estimate of a party's future policies prior to the campaign. The voter's initial expectations are revised during the campaign as he acquires additional information. His decision is based upon these revised estimates. Copyright Martinus Nijhoff Publishers b.v. 1979

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Zechman, 1979. "Dynamic models of the voter's decision calculus: Incorporating retrospective considerations into rational-choice models of individual voting behavior," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 297-315, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:34:y:1979:i:3:p:297-315
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00225671
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aranson, Peter H. & Hinich, Melvin J. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1974. "Election Goals and Strategies: Equivalent and Nonequivalent Candidate Objectives," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 135-152, March.
    2. Shepsle, Kenneth A., 1972. "The Strategy of Ambiguity: Uncertainty and Electoral Competition," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 555-568, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hang Lee, 2020. "Voters’ involvement, attitude, and confidence in the era of new media," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 6(1), pages 1-7, December.

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