IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iaa/dpaper/201312.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

It's the occupation, stupid! Explaining candidates' success in low-information elections

Author

Listed:
  • Mario Mechtel

    () (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EU, University of Trier)

Abstract

Do voters use ballot paper information on the personal characteristics of political candidates as cues in low-information elections? Using a unique dataset containing 4423 political candidates from recent elections in Germany, we show that candidates’ occupations do play an important role in their electoral success. The occupational impact is far greater than gender or doctoral degree effects for a large number of occupations. We discuss three possible explanations for these “occupational effects”: (a) an occupation’s public reputation, (b) the extent to which individuals carrying out certain occupations are known within their communities, and (c) occupation specific competence related to issues relevant for local politics. Looking at polls on the reputation/ prestige of certain jobs, we find a strong correlation between an occupation’s reputation and the electoral success of a candidate carrying out this occupation. Therefore, voters appear to use occupational reputation as a cue in low-information elections.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Mechtel, 2013. "It's the occupation, stupid! Explaining candidates' success in low-information elections," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201312, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  • Handle: RePEc:iaa:dpaper:201312
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.iaaeg.de/images/DiscussionPaper/2013_12.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2013
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl & Panu Poutvaara, 2010. "The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and their Voters Reward it," CESifo Working Paper Series 3310, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2010. "The looks of a winner: Beauty and electoral success," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 8-15, February.
    3. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053.
    4. Riker, William H. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1968. "A Theory of the Calculus of Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 25-42, March.
    5. Riker, William H. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1968. "A Theory of the Calculus of Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 25-42, March.
    6. Chong, Dennis & Druckman, James N., 2010. "Dynamic Public Opinion: Communication Effects over Time," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 663-680, November.
    7. Lupia, Arthur, 1994. "Shortcuts Versus Encyclopedias: Information and Voting Behavior in California Insurance Reform Elections," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 63-76, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Laszlo Goerke, 2016. "Tax Evasion in a Cournot Oligopoly with Endogenous Entry," IAAEG Discussion Papers until 2011 201605, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    2. Marco de Pinto & Jörg Lingens, 2017. "The Impact of Unionization Costs when Firm-selection Matters," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201701, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    3. Garz, Marcel, 2018. "Retirement, consumption of political information, and political knowledge," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 109-119.
    4. Beach, Brian & Jones, Daniel B., 2016. "Business as usual: Politicians with business experience, government finances, and policy outcomes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 292-307.
    5. Fałkowski, Jan, 2016. "Promoting change or preserving the status quo? - the consequences of dominating local politics by agricultural interests. Some evidence on structural change in Poland during the transition period," 149th Seminar, October 27-28, 2016, Rennes, France 245115, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Gomberg, Andrei & Gutiérrez, Emilio & López, Paulina & Vázquez, Alejandra, 2019. "Coattails and the forces that drive them: Evidence from Mexico," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 64-81.
    7. Ronny Freier & Sebastian Thomasius, 2016. "Voters prefer more qualified mayors, but does it matter for public finances? Evidence for Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(5), pages 875-910, October.
    8. Nicolas GAVOILLE & Jean-Michel JOSSELIN & Fabio PADOVANO, 2014. "What do you know about your mayor? Voters’ information and jurisdiction size," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2014-01-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy, revised Aug 2015.
    9. Thomas Braendle & Alois Stutzer, 2017. "Voters and Representatives: How Should Representatives Be Selected?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2017-05, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    political economy; low-information elections; informational shortcuts; occupational reputation;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:iaa:dpaper:201312. 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: (Adrian Chadi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iaaegde.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.