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date: 20 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

We examine the economics and elections connection, often referred to as economic voting, via a review of key studies by economists and political scientists, focusing on key generalizations applicable across democracies. Early work (1930s–1960s) was exploratory, seeking to establish whether economics mattered for elections, in the examination of individual country studies. In two strands of later work, one (1970–1990) developed “vote-popularity functions” over time; another (1980–2000) researched micro-level economic voting in national election surveys. Leading, global generalizations began to emerge in the contemporary period (2000s–2010s), such as the following: sociotropic retrospective economic evaluations dominate the economic vote choice, the economic vote itself can vary with clarity of policy responsibility, and the strong research results at the national level mirror results at the individual voter level. Currently, questions of the impact of economic crisis, and further dimensions of the economic vote, such as positional or patrimonial voting, are under serious consideration.

Keywords: economic voting, economics and elections, VP functions, popularity functions, economics and politics

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