Unemployment and the Dynamics of Voter Choice: Taking Government Partisanship into Account
34 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 26 Oct 2009
Date Written: 2009 8, 25
This paper explores the dynamic patterns of vote choice induced by individual assessments of the employment situation. More specifically, this paper examines the patterns of vote switching and the factors that drive changes in vote choice. Furthermore, the paper takes government partisanship into account, exploring how the partisan persuasion of the government affects voters' responses to increasing employment concerns. I argue that increasing concerns about the employment situation induce voter transition to support a left party with the expectations of public policies of employment growth. But employment concerns do not hurt the left government because voters perceive that the left government 'owns' the issue, expecting better management of the employment situation. Analysis of a Markov chain model of voter transition, using the British Election Panel Study, 92-97 and 97-01, finds evidence to support my argument.
Keywords: unemployment, vote choice, voter transition, British election, Markov-chain model
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