Ideological change and the economics of voting behavior in the US, 1920–2008

De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel (2014) Ideological change and the economics of voting behavior in the US, 1920–2008. Electoral Studies, 34. pp. 27-38.


This paper tests the proposition that voters advance a more liberal agenda in prosperous times and turn more conservative in dire economic times. A reference-dependent utility model suggests that, with income growth, the relative demand for public goods increases and the median voter is more likely to vote Democrat. With slowing income growth, the median voter derives increased marginal utility from personal income—making taxation more painful—and is more likely to vote Republican. Ordinary and instrumented analyses of a new time series for the US median voter are encouraging of this income growth model. This work links voting behavior to economic business cycles and shows that ideological change is endogenous to income growth rates.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: ideology; Voting behavior; Economic business cycles; Median voter data; international business
Subject(s): Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Global business
Centre: Faculty of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2015 10:30
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:08
Funders: N/A

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View