Mecro‐Economic Voting: Local Information and Micro‐Perceptions of the Macro‐Economy

31 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2014

See all articles by Stephen Ansolabehere

Stephen Ansolabehere

Harvard University - Department of Government

Marc Meredith

University of Pennsylvania

Erik Snowberg

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: November 2014

Abstract

We develop an incomplete information theory of economic voting, where voters' information about macro‐economic performance is determined by the economic conditions of people similar to themselves. We test our theory using both cross‐sectional and time‐series survey data. A novel survey instrument that asks respondents their numerical assessment of the unemployment rate confirms that individuals' economic information responds to the economic conditions of people similar to themselves. Furthermore, these assessments are correlated with individuals' vote choices. We also show in time‐series data that state unemployment robustly correlates with evaluations of national economic conditions, and presidential support.

Suggested Citation

Ansolabehere, Stephen and Meredith, Marc and Snowberg, Erik, Mecro‐Economic Voting: Local Information and Micro‐Perceptions of the Macro‐Economy (November 2014). Economics & Politics, Vol. 26, Issue 3, pp. 380-410, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2511968 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecpo.12040

Stephen Ansolabehere (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Marc Meredith

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Erik Snowberg

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

1200 East California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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