Advertisement

Local Economic Performance and Election Outcomes

  • David M. Mitchell
  • Keith Willett
Article

Abstract

This paper uses a logit model to test whether voters will alter their support for incumbents in state level elections, specifically gubernatorial and state house and senate elections, when local (i.e., county) economic conditions are observed. The results signify that voters do hold the incumbent party responsible for economic conditions. Furthermore, voters tend to place more emphasis on unemployment levels than on real personal income indicating that incumbent politicians might want to engage in policies that put people to work rather than on policies that raise income. The results also suggest that voters did not hold their state house and senate representative as responsible for local economic conditions as they did the governor.

JEL

H31 H70 

References

  1. Adams, J.; Kenny, L. “The Retention of State Governors,” Public Choice, 62, July 1989, pp. 1–13.Google Scholar
  2. Aldrich, J. H.; Nelson, F. D. Linear Probability, Logit, and Probit Models. Beverly Hills, California: Sage, 1984.Google Scholar
  3. Berry, W. D.; Berkman, M. D.; Schneiderman, S. “Legislative Professionalism and Incumbent Reelection: The Development of Institutional Boundaries,” American Political Science Review, 94, December 2000, pp. 859–874.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Besley, T.; Case, A. “Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States,” Journal of Economic Literature, 61, March 2003, pp. 7–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carey, J. M.; Niemi, R. G.; Powell, L. W. “Incumbency and the Probability of Reelection in State Legislative Elections,” The Journal of Politics, 62, August 2000, pp. 671–700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Case, A. “Taxes and the Electoral Cycle: How Sensitive Are Governors To Coming Elections?,” Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Business Review, March–April 1994, pp. 17–26.Google Scholar
  7. Chubb, J. E. “Institutions, the Economy, and the Dynamics of State Elections,” The American Political Science Review, 82, March 1988, pp. 133–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Erikson, R. S. “Economic Conditions and the Congressional Vote: A Review of the Macrolevel Evidence,” American Journal of Political Science, 34, May 1990, pp. 373–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fair, R. C. “The Effect of Economic Events on Votes for the President,” The Review of Economics and Statistics, 60, May 1978, pp. 159–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Galeotti, G.; Forcina, A. “Political Loyalties and the Economy: The U.S. Case,” The Review of Economics and Statistics, 71, August 1989, pp. 511–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gelman, A.; King, G. “Estimating Incumbency Advantage Without Bias,” American Journal of Political Science, 34, November 1990, pp. 1142–1163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gujarati, D. N. Basic Econometrics, NewYork: McGraw-Hill, 1988.Google Scholar
  13. Hibbs, D. “Political Parties and Macroeconomic Policy,” American Political Science Review, 71, December 1977, pp. 1467–1487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. —. “Political Parties and Macroeconomic Policies and Outcomes in the United States,” American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 76, May 1986, pp. 66–70.Google Scholar
  15. Jacobson, G. C. “Does the Economy Matter in Midterm Elections?,” American Journal of Political Science, 34, May 1990, pp. 400–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kiewiet, R.; Udell, M. “Twenty-Five Years after Kramer: An Assessment of Economic Retrospective Voting Based Upon Improved Estimates of Income and Unemployment,” Economics and Politics, 10, November 1998, pp. 219–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Levernier, W. “Election Outcomes and Economic Conditions: An Application of a Logit Model,” Journal of Economics and Finance, 17, Spring 1993, pp. 115–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McRae, D. C. “A Political Model of the Business Cycle,” Journal of Political Economy, 85, April 1977, pp. 239–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nadeau, R.; Blais, A.; Nevitte, N.; Gidengil, E. “It's Unemployment, Stupid! Why Perceptions about the Job Situation Hurt the Liberals in the 1997 Election,” Canadian Public Policy, 26, March 2000, pp. 77–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nordhaus, W. H. “The Political Business Cycle,” Review of Economic Studies, 42, April 1975, pp. 169–189.Google Scholar
  21. Peltzman, S. “Economic Conditions and Gubernatorial Elections,” American Economic Review, 77, May 1987, pp. 293–297.Google Scholar
  22. Powell, L. W. “Electoral Competition in House Primary Elections,” Presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington District of Columbia, (September 1993).Google Scholar
  23. Simon, D. M.; Ostrom, C. W. Jr.; Marra, R. F. “The President, Referendum Voting, and Subnational Elections in the United States,” The American Political Science Review, 85, December 1991, pp. 1177–1192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Smyth, D. J.; Taylor, S. W. “Regional Variations in the Social Preference Function Between Inflation and Unemployment,” The Review of Regional Studies, 21, Spring 1991, pp. 1–10.Google Scholar
  25. —. “Inflation–Unemployment Trade-Offs of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents: Empirical Evidence on the Partisan Theory,” Journal of Macroeconomics, 14, Winter 1992, pp. 47–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. —. “Do Group-specific or National Unemployment Rates Influence Perceptions?,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 19, December 1992, pp. 379–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Smyth, D. J.; Dua, P.; Taylor, S. W. “Voters and Macroeconomics: Are They Forward Looking or Backward Looking?,” Public Choice, 78, March 1994, pp. 283–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stein, R. M. “Economic Voting for Governor and U.S. Senator: The Electoral Consequence of Federalism,” Journal of Politics, 52, February 1990, pp. 29–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Stock, J. H.; Watson, M. W. Introduction to Econometrics, Boston: Addison-Wesley, 2003.Google Scholar
  30. Wooldridge, J. M. Introductory Econometrics, Mason, Ohio: Thomson South-Western, 2003.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsMissouri State UniversitySpringfieldUSA
  2. 2.Department of Economics and Legal Studies in BusinessOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

Personalised recommendations