Digging into the Pocketbook: Evidence on Economic Voting from Income Registry Data Matched to a Voter Survey

38 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2016  

Andrew Healy

Loyola Marymount University

Mikael Persson

Göteborg University

Erik Snowberg

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

Date Written: November 08, 2016

Abstract

We combine fine-grained data on voters’ personal financial records with a representative election survey to examine three central topics in the economic voting literature: pocketbook versus sociotropic voting, the effects of partisanship on economic views, and voter myopia. First, these data show that voters who appear in survey data to be voting based on the national economy are, in fact, voting equally on the basis of their personal financial conditions. Second, there is strong evidence of both partisan bias and economic information in economic evaluations, but fine-grained financial data is required to separate the two. Third, although in experiments, and aggregate historical data, voters appear focused on recent economic conditions when choosing how to vote, we find no evidence of myopia when examining actual personal economic data. Collectively, the results show our understanding of economic voting depends crucially on the quality of available data.

Suggested Citation

Healy, Andrew and Persson, Mikael and Snowberg, Erik, Digging into the Pocketbook: Evidence on Economic Voting from Income Registry Data Matched to a Voter Survey (November 08, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6171. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2885246

Andrew J. Healy

Loyola Marymount University ( email )

7900 Loyola Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045-8350
United States

Mikael Persson

Göteborg University ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Goeteborg, 405 30
Sweden

Erik Snowberg (Contact Author)

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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