The Media and Economic Voting in Israel
Posted: 29 Jul 2009
The premise of the economic voting hypothesis is that citizens vote for the government if the national economy is doing well; otherwise, they vote against it. The causal chain of effects in the economic voting hypothesis starts from the objective economic indicators, moves on to voter perceptions of the economy, and then to the vote. Under the competence hypothesis that is analyzed here, this causal chain is slightly modified, with the objective economy as the first step, voter perceptions of the economic competence of the government as the second step, and then the vote. It is argued that citizens learn about the state of the national economy mainly from the media. Yet, only few studies of economic voting include empirical analyses of the media's role in it. The findings support the competence hypothesis and the important role of the media in it. They underline the valuable contribution of media effects theories, and especially media framing and priming, to our understanding of economic voting.
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