Local Economic Voting and Residence-Based Regionalism in South Korea: Evidence from the 2007 Presidential Election
40 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2015 Last revised: 18 Mar 2016
Date Written: June 5, 2014
This paper argues that the economic well-being of social groups affects individual voting decisions, independent from the state of the national economy or personal finances. While the idea of group economic heuristics is often suggested, empirical support has been mixed at best. Exploiting the regional cleavage structure in South Korea in which political interests overlap with the administrative boundaries in the country, the paper examines how objective economic conditions at the provincial level affect voters’ electoral choices using a multilevel analysis of survey data. The analysis of the 2007 presidential election in South Korea provides evidence that voters in a region with higher Gross Regional Domestic Product a) tend to evaluate the state of the national economy more favorably and b) are more likely to vote for a government party candidate. On the other hand, unemployment and housing prices have no significant effects on vote choice.
Keywords: Regional Cleavage, Economic Voting, South Korea
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