The Median Voter Data Set: Voter Preferences across 50 Democracies from 1945
28 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2009 Last revised: 3 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 2, 2009
The median voter, or the ideological position of the electoral center, has figured 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.
Keywords: Median Voter, Voter Preferences, Comparative Manifesto Project, Policy Preferences, Electoral Systems, Political Economy, Statistics
JEL Classification: C80, D72, O57, P16, Y1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation