IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Martin Zechman


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:34:y:1979:i:3:p:297-315. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.