Economic uncertainty and political choice: How voters decide
Dettrey, Bryan J.
MetadataShow full item record
The economic voting paradigm is among the strongest in the literature, yet economic voting depends upon the economic perceptions of voters. This dissertation examines the variability in the formation of economic perceptions due to the different information levels of voters. The amount of uncertainty and heterogeneity in national economic evaluations capture the effects of information. Both the amount of uncertainty and the effects of uncertainty on the economic voting relationship are illustrated. Voters have higher levels of uncertainty in prospective economic evaluations but only retrospective uncertainty conditions the economic voting relationship. Moreover, when retrospective uncertainty is disaggregated among partisan and information components, it is the partisan certainty that increases the strength of economic voting. These results highlight the extent that economic voting is permeated by partisanship. Finally, the systemic nature of heterogeneity in economic perceptions due to the macroeconomic context is investigated. Voters are found to have higher levels of variation in economic evaluations at more positive levels of economic performance. The amount of heterogeneity is reduced when economic performance is less positive. These results suggest an asymmetric political behavioral response to good and poor economic performance.