The Impacts of International Economic Crises on the Succession of Incumbents in 55 Countries (1960-2011)
25 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2012 Last revised: 28 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2012
This paper compares national general elections in 55 countries from 1960-2012 to examine the effects of international economic crises on the electoral performance of incumbents. We investigate whether, and how much, a handful of economic and institutional variables have been shifting electoral support. Our main attention is, on the one hand, on economic factors such as the moments of global crises, the international economic indices of GNP, countries inner GNP and inflation indices, the unemployment rates, monetary reserves, government consumption expenditure, among others. On the other hand, we include control political variables such as the electoral systems, government type, party system fragmentation, the age of democracies, among others, in order to verify if the significance of economic crises is and remain relevant, and when and how they are important to understand political changes in who is or is not elected. Do crises equally affect this dimension in developed and in non-developed democracies, or depending on monetary reserves? In a word, can crises commonly affect what citizens choose? We will show that yes they can, but we should be aware of how, when and where it happens. As data covers elections with results made public up to April 2012, we thus include in the dataset the present world crisis.
Keywords: Incumbent, economic voting, accountability, crises, international crisis, economy, incumbency advantage
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