Do Party Positions Affect the Public's Policy Preferences?

44 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Elisabeth Grewenig

Elisabeth Grewenig

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

Philipp Lergetporer

ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Katharina Werner

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

Ludger Woessmann

Ifo Institute for Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

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: D72, D83, H52, J13, I28, P16

Suggested Citation

Grewenig, Elisabeth and Lergetporer, Philipp and Werner, Katharina and Woessmann, Ludger, Do Party Positions Affect the Public's Policy Preferences?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12249. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390239

Elisabeth Grewenig (Contact Author)

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Philipp Lergetporer

ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Dresden Branch
Einsteinstra├če 3
Dresden, 01069
Germany

Katharina Werner

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Ludger Woessmann

Ifo Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich
Germany
++49 89 9224 1699 (Phone)
++49 89 9224 1460 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de/link/woessmann_l.htm

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Schackstr. 4
Munich, 80539
Germany

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