IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/exe/wpaper/1009.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Economic Voting in Britain, 1857-1914

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Hodgson

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • John Maloney

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

Abstract

Despite limited government control over the pre-1914 economy, opposition politicians were enthusiastic in blaming bad economic news on the incumbent. In a study of 458 by-elections between 1857 and 1914, we find that voters typically gave new governments a 'honeymoon' but thereafter held them responsible for high unemployment and high prices. Each 1% rise in the price level, on average, brought about a 0.21% swing against the government of the day, while each one-point rise in the percentage unemployed had double this effect. Attributing shorter- or longer-term memories to voters, as they used the past to determine what constituted unacceptable price and unemployment levels, makes little difference to this result. We also look at grievance asymmetry - the idea that voters give governments more blame for bad outcomes than they give credit for good ones - and find some evidence in its favour.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Hodgson & John Maloney, 2010. "Economic Voting in Britain, 1857-1914," Discussion Papers 1009, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:1009
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://people.exeter.ac.uk/cc371/RePEc/dpapers/DP1009.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Simon Price & David Sanders, 1998. "By-elections, changing fortunes, uncertainty and the mid-term blues," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 131-148, April.
    2. Irwin, Douglas A, 1994. "The Political Economy of Free Trade: Voting in the British General Election of 1906," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 75-108, April.
    3. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1997. "The grievance asymmetry revisited: A micro study of economic voting in Denmark,1986-1992," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 81-99, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    voting; inflation unemplyment; Britian; elections;

    JEL classification:

    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:exe:wpaper:1009. 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: (Carlos Cortinhas). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deexeuk.html .

    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.