Voting functions in the EU-15
This paper examines if the European integration process, by transferring policy instruments to supra-national authorities, has affected voters’ evaluations of governments’ economic performance at electoral periods. The analysis is implemented on a panel of 15 EU countries, from 1970 to 2011. Results suggest that before the Maastricht Treaty, citizens held incumbents responsible for GDP growth, and for the evolution of inflation, particularly when measured relative to the EU average. After the Maastricht Treaty, only fiscal policy variables show up as statistically significant. The capacity to control the budget deficit appears as the main determinant of electoral results, especially during the current economic crisis.
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