Do Party Positions Affect the Public's Policy Preferences?

44 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2019

See all articles by Elisabeth Grewenig

Elisabeth Grewenig

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Philipp Lergetporer

University of Innsbruck

Katharina Werner

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Beata Smarzynska Javorcik

University of Oxford - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

The standard assumption of exogenous policy preferences implies that parties set their positions according to their voters’ preferences. We investigate the reverse effect: Are the electorates’ policy preferences responsive to party positions? In a representative German survey, we inform randomized treatment groups about the positions of political parties on two family policies, child care subsidy and universal student aid. In both experiments, results show that the treatment aligns the preferences of specific partisan groups with their preferred party’s position on the policy under consideration, implying endogeneity of policy preferences. The information treatment also affects non-partisan swing voters.

Keywords: political parties, partisanship, survey experiment, information, endogenous preferences, voters, family policy

JEL Classification: D720, D830, H520, J130, I280, P160

Suggested Citation

Grewenig, Elisabeth and Lergetporer, Philipp and Werner, Katharina and Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata, Do Party Positions Affect the Public's Policy Preferences? (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 7579. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3367215

Elisabeth Grewenig (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Philipp Lergetporer

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Universit├Ątsstra├če 15
Innsbruck, 6020
Austria

Katharina Werner

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Beata Smarzynska Javorcik

University of Oxford - Department of Economics ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3BJ
United Kingdom

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