Economic Voting and Media Influence in a Competitive Authoritarian Setting: Evidence from Turkey

Posted: 23 Dec 2018

See all articles by Alper H. Yagci

Alper H. Yagci

Ozyegin University

Cem Oyvat

University of Greenwich

Date Written: December 3, 2018

Abstract

It is generally assumed that individuals take national economic performance into account while voting. But the question of how perceptions about the economy may be influenced by partisan media remains understudied. Analyzing survey data from Turkey with various robust analysis techniques we demonstrate that reliance on pro-government media as a news source makes voters’ economic perceptions significantly more favorable, which in turn increases the likelihood of incumbent vote. In addition, we demonstrate that the audience of pro-government media are more likely to display “sociotropic overestimation” — thinking that the national economy has done better compared to their own household experience; and “counterfactual rationalization” — thinking, regardless of how they view actual economic performance, that it could be worse under alternative leadership. The results suggest that when the economy is manifestly deteriorating, authoritarian incumbents may try to use media influence to convince the electorate that the status quo is better than the alternatives.

Keywords: economic voting, media, competitive authoritarianism, Turkey, political behavior, political economy

Suggested Citation

Yagci, Alper and Oyvat, Cem, Economic Voting and Media Influence in a Competitive Authoritarian Setting: Evidence from Turkey (December 3, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3295038 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3295038

Alper Yagci (Contact Author)

Ozyegin University ( email )

Kusbakisi Cd. No: 2
Altunizade, Uskudar
Istanbul, 34662
Turkey

Cem Oyvat

University of Greenwich ( email )

United Kingdom

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