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Journal Article

Partisanship, Political Control, and Economic Assessments

Alan S. Gerber and Gregory A. Huber
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 54, No. 1 (Jan., 2010), pp. 153-173
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20647977
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Partisanship, Political Control, and Economic Assessments
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Abstract

Previous research shows that partisans rate the economy more favorably when their party holds power. There are several explanations for this association, including use of different evaluative criteria, selective perception, selective exposure to information, correlations between economic experiences and partisanship, and partisan bias in survey responses. We use a panel survey around the November 2006 election to measure changes in economic expectations and behavioral intentions after an unanticipated shift in political power. Using this design, we can observe whether the association between partisanship and economic assessments holds when some leading mechanisms thought to bring it about are excluded. We find that there are large and statistically significant partisan differences in how economic assessments and behavioral intentions are revised immediately following the Democratic takeover of Congress. We conclude that this pattern of partisan response suggests partisan differences in perceptions of the economic competence of the parties, rather than alternative mechanisms.

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