Partisanship and Economic Behavior: Do Partisan Differences in Economic Forecasts Predict Real Economic Behavior?
American Political Science Review, Vol. 103, pp. 407-426, 2009
Posted: 26 Jan 2010
Date Written: 2009
Survey data regularly show that assessments of current and expected future economic performance are more positive when a respondent's partisanship matches that of the president. To determine if this is a survey artifact or something deeper, we investigate whether partisanship is associated with behavioral differences in economic decisions. We construct a new data set of county-level quarterly taxable sales to examine the effect of partisanship on consumption. Consumption change following a presidential election is correlated with a county's partisan complexion, a result consistent with partisans acting outside the domain of politics in accordance with the opinions they express in surveys. These results support an expansive view of the role of partisanship in mass politics and help validate surveys as a method for studying political behavior.
Keywords: Partisanship, assessment of economic performance, economic decisions, economic behavior, presidential elections
JEL Classification: A12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation