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Attribution Error in Economic Voting: Evidence from Trade Shocks

  • Rosa C. Hayes

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Masami Imai

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)

  • Cameron A. Shelton

    ()

    (Claremont McKenna College)

This paper exploits the international transmission of business cycles to examine the prevalence of attribution error in economic voting in a large panel of countries from 1990-2009. We find that voters, on average, exhibit a strong tendency to oust incumbent governments during an economic downturn, regardless of whether the recession is home-grown or merely imported from trading partners. However, we find important heterogeneity in the extent of attribution error. A split sample analysis shows that countries with more experienced voters, more educated voters, and possibly more informed voters—all conditions which have been shown to mitigate other voter agency problems—do better in distinguishing imported from domestic growth.

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File URL: http://repec.wesleyan.edu/pdf/mimai/2013009_imai.pdf
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Paper provided by Wesleyan University, Department of Economics in its series Wesleyan Economics Working Papers with number 2013-009.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2013-009
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Web page: http://www.wesleyan.edu/econ/

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  1. J. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2012. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 994-1028, April.
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  8. Alberto F. Alesina & Dorian Carloni & Giampaolo Lecce, 2011. "The Electoral Consequences of Large Fiscal Adjustments," NBER Working Papers 17655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Cole, Shawn & Healy, Andrew & Werker, Eric, 2012. "Do voters demand responsive governments? Evidence from Indian disaster relief," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 167-181.
  11. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
  12. Ray C. Fair, 1976. "The Effects of Economic Events on Votes for President," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 418, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Perotti, Roberto & Tavares, Jose, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Scholarly Articles 12553724, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  15. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521707404 is not listed on IDEAS
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