Economics and Ideology: Causal Evidence of the Impact of Economic Conditions on Support for Redistribution and Other Ballot Proposals

57 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2008 Last revised: 4 Jul 2010

See all articles by Eric J. Brunner

Eric J. Brunner

University of Connecticut

Stephen L. Ross

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics

Ebonya L. Washington

Yale University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2008

Abstract

Using California ballot proposition returns and exogenous shifts to labor demand, we provide the first large-scale causal evidence of the impact of economic conditions on policy preferences. Consistent with economic theory, we find that positive economic shocks decrease support for redistributive policies. More notably, we find evidence of a need for cognitive consistency in voting behavior as economic shocks have a smaller significant impact on voting on non-economic ballot issues. While we also demonstrate that positive shocks decrease turnout, we present evidence that our results reflect changes to the electorate's preferences and not simply to its composition.

Suggested Citation

Brunner, Eric J. and Ross, Stephen L. and Washington, Ebonya L., Economics and Ideology: Causal Evidence of the Impact of Economic Conditions on Support for Redistribution and Other Ballot Proposals (June 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14091. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1149337

Eric J. Brunner

University of Connecticut ( email )

Department of Public Policy
1800 Asylum Ave, 4th Floor
West Hartford, CT 06117
United States
860.570.9217 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/ericbrunner1/

Stephen L. Ross

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fairfield Way, U-1063
Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Ebonya L. Washington (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8264
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.yale.edu/polisci/people/ewashington.html

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
14
Abstract Views
349
PlumX Metrics