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How does a relative economy affect voter turnout?

Park, B. B. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7656-3609 (2021) How does a relative economy affect voter turnout? Political Behavior. ISSN 1573-6687

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11109-021-09736-4

Abstract/Summary

Existing studies offer conflicting analyses of the effect of the economy on voter turnout; some studies suggest that a poor economy leads to lower turnout while other studies find the opposite, or no significant effects. One reason for this ambiguity might be rooted in a limited understanding of how voters form attitudes about economic performance. Previous research implicitly presumes that voters’ economic assessments are based solely on information about the retrospective domestic economy. In contrast, this study suggests that voters compare their nation’s economy with the economies of other nations. If the economy has an effect on turnout, the relative economy will affect voters’ evaluations, and consequently their decision to turn out. Employing ‘relative economy’ variables measured by media-identified spatial reference points across elections and countries from 29 democracies since the 1980s, this paper finds that a poor relative economy leads to lower turnout, while a good relative economy appears to have no effect. The finding has significant implications for the electoral effect of turnout, and thus on democratic accountability.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:99230
Publisher:Springer

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