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Attribution Error in Economic Voting: Evidence from Trade Shocks

Author

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  • Rosa C. Hayes

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Masami Imai

    (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)

  • Cameron A. Shelton

    (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosa C. Hayes & Masami Imai & Cameron A. Shelton, 2013. "Attribution Error in Economic Voting: Evidence from Trade Shocks," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2013-009, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2013-009
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    Cited by:

    1. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2016. "Voting and Popularity," CESifo Working Paper Series 6182, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic voting; Political agency problem;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook

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