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The Median Voter Data Set: Voter Preferences across 50 Democracies from 1945

Jan‐Emmanuel De Neve

University College London; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

November 2, 2009

The median voter, or the ideological position of the electoral center, has fi gured widely across literatures. This paper introduces a median voter data set that allows for comparison across time and across countries. The data set employs the statistics provided by the Comparative Manifesto Project but corrects for stochastic error using work by Benoit, Laver & Mikhaylov (2009) and includes standard errors. This research applies the Kim & Fording (1998) methodology that links party positions with electoral outcomes to arrive at revealed voter preferences. This data set provides insight into the median voter in over 50 democracies. For more established democracies the time series typically starts in the mid 1940s. For the United States the data starts in 1920 and includes the 2008 election. Descriptive graphs illustrate the major trends in voter preferences. The median voter data set is included at the end of this paper and is available online.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 28

Keywords: Median Voter, Voter Preferences, Comparative Manifesto Project, Policy Preferences, Electoral Systems, Political Economy, Statistics

JEL Classification: C80, D72, O57, P16, Y1

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Date posted: February 25, 2009 ; Last revised: November 3, 2009

Suggested Citation

De Neve, Jan‐Emmanuel, The Median Voter Data Set: Voter Preferences across 50 Democracies from 1945 (November 2, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1348323 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1348323

Contact Information

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (Contact Author)
University College London ( email )
29/30 Tavistock Square
London, WC1H 9QU
United Kingdom
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/deneve/
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