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Incumbent Tenure Crowds Out Economic Voting

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Does the importance of the economy change during a government's time in office? Governments arguably become more responsible for current economic conditions as their tenure progresses. This might lead voters to hold experienced governments more accountable for economic conditions. However, voters also accumulate information about governments' competence over time. If voters are Bayesian learners, then this growing stock of information should crowd out the importance of current economic conditions. This article explores these divergent predictions about the relationship between tenure and the economic vote using three datasets. First, using country-level data from a diverse set of elections, the study finds that support for more experienced governments is less dependent on economic growth. Secondly, using individual-level data from sixty election surveys covering ten countries, the article shows that voters' perceptions of the economy have a greater impact on government support when the government is inexperienced. Finally, the article examines a municipal reform in Denmark that assigned some voters to new local incumbents and finds that these voters responded more strongly to the local economy. In conclusion, all three studies point in the same direction: economic voting decreases with time in office.

TidsskriftBritish Journal of Political Science
Sider (fra-til)646-665
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2021

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