Attribution Error in Economic Voting: Evidence From Trade Shocks

41 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2014

See all articles by Masami Imai

Masami Imai

Wesleyan University

Cameron A. Shelton

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance

Rosa Hayes

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2014

Abstract

This paper exploits the international transmission of business cycles to examine the prevalence of attribution error in economic voting in a large panel of countries from 1990-2009. We find that voters, on average, exhibit a strong tendency to oust incumbent governments during an economic downturn, regardless of whether the recession is home-grown or merely imported from trading partners. However, we find important heterogeneity in the extent of attribution error. A split sample analysis shows that countries with more experienced voters, more educated voters, and possibly more informed voters — all conditions which have been shown to mitigate other voter agency problems — do better in distinguishing imported from domestic growth.

Keywords: economic voting, political agency problem

JEL Classification: E3, E6

Suggested Citation

Imai, Masami and Shelton, Cameron A. and Hayes, Rosa, Attribution Error in Economic Voting: Evidence From Trade Shocks (March 2014). Tokyo Center for Economic Research (TCER) Paper No. E-73. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2416722

Masami Imai (Contact Author)

Wesleyan University ( email )

Middletown, CT 06459
United States
860-685-2155 (Phone)

Cameron A. Shelton

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth St.
Claremont, CA 91711-6420
United States

Rosa Hayes

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
United States

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