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Empirics of the median voter hypothesis in Japan


  • Takero Doi

    () (Faculty of Economics, Keio University, 2-15-45 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8345, Japan)


This paper empirically analyses for the first time the median voter hypothesis in Japan as a means of investigating whether or not Japanese prefectural finance reflects the preference of the median voter. The hypothesis is tested by estimating the demand functions of local public goods in each prefecture. As official data on the income of the median voter is unavailable in Japan, respective prefectural data is constructed using official data on income distribution and taxation. Reasonable intuitive interpretation of results indicates that the median voter hypothesis is supported in prefectural finances, and that voter preference affects the outcome of gubernatorial elections, i.e., a governor's reelection probability, by estimating a probit model. When considering the centralized prefectural government system in Japan, these results indicate that central government management of prefectural expenditures via inter-regional grants ultimately reflects jurisdictional median voter preference.

Suggested Citation

  • Takero Doi, 1999. "Empirics of the median voter hypothesis in Japan," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 667-691.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:24:y:1999:i:4:p:667-691 Note: received: December 1997/Final version received: February 1999

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pagan, Adrian, 1996. "The econometrics of financial markets," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 15-102, May.
    2. Benoit Mandelbrot, 2015. "The Variation of Certain Speculative Prices," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: THE WORLD SCIENTIFIC HANDBOOK OF FUTURES MARKETS, chapter 3, pages 39-78 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Cited by:

    1. Masako Oyama, 2014. "New evidence on income distribution and economic growth in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0917, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    2. Masako Oyama, 2014. "How does income distribution affect economic growth? --Evidence from Japanese prefectural data--," ISER Discussion Paper 0910, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.

    More about this item


    Median voter hypothesis; local public goods; Japanese prefectural finance; gubernatorial elections; probit model;

    JEL classification:

    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior


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