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Evaluating the Median Voter Model’s Explanatory Power

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  • David Stadelmann
  • Marco Portmann
  • Reiner Eichenberger

Abstract

We match individual senators’ voting behavior on legislative proposals with 24 real referenda decisions on exactly the same issues with identical wording. This setting allows us to evaluate the median voter model’s quality with revealed constituents’ preferences. Results indicate a limited explanatory power of the median voter model: It explains 17.6 percentage points more than random voting and a senator’s probability to accept a proposal in parliament increases on average by 8.4 percentage points when the district median voter accepts the proposal.

Suggested Citation

  • David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2011. "Evaluating the Median Voter Model’s Explanatory Power," CREMA Working Paper Series 2011-15, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2011-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Garrett, Thomas A, 1999. "A Test of Shirking under Legislative and Citizen Vote: The Case of State Lottery Adoption," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 189-208, April.
    2. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    3. Bender, Bruce & Lott, John R, Jr, 1996. "Legislator Voting and Shirking: A Critical Review of the Literature," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 67-100, April.
    4. Lawrence Kenny & Babak Lotfinia, 2005. "Evidence on the importance of spatial voting models in presidential nominations and elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 439-462, June.
    5. Elisabeth R. Gerber & Jeffrey B. Lewis, 2004. "Beyond the Median: Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christine Benesch & Monika Bütler & Katharina E. Hofer, 2015. "Transparency in Parliamentary Voting," CESifo Working Paper Series 5682, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Hofer. Katharina, 2016. "Shirk or Work? On How Legislators React to Monitoring," Economics Working Paper Series 1616, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Median Voter Model; Political Representation; Constituents’ Preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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