Voting after a Major Flood: Is there a Link between Democratic Experience and Retrospective Voting?
50 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2019 Last revised: 22 Jan 2021
Date Written: October 15, 2019
We explore whether retrospective voting is related to voters’ democratic experience. To this end, we compare the voting behavior in West Germany to the voting behavior in the formerly non-democratic East Germany after a disaster relief program addressing a flood in 2013. Our analysis reveals a 0.9 to 2.5 percentage points increase in the vote share for the incumbent party in the flooded municipalities in the East compared to the West. Analyzing an earlier flood, variation of democratic experience within East Germany, and a panel survey provides further evidence that less democratically experienced voters are easier prey to pre-election policies.
Keywords: retrospective voting, natural disaster, democratic experience, relief program
JEL Classification: D72, D78, H84, R10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation