Do citizens turnout to vote because of changes in their personal financial situation or are they influenced by the nation’s economic performance? Previous research on this question is far from united. We attempt to unify the disparate literature on the effects of pocketbook and sociotropic evaluations on voter turnout in midterm and presidential elections. Our analysis of ANES data from 1978 to 2004, based on a reference-dependent model of voter turnout, indicates that both pocketbook and sociotropic considerations affect individuals’ decision of whether to vote in midterm elections. Those who perceive that over the last year their own financial situation has improved relative to the economy are less likely to vote than those who view the economy as outperforming their own financial situation.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 18, 2007
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