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Journal Article

The Economy and Policy Mood: A Fundamental Dynamic of Democratic Politics?

Randolph T. Stevenson
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 45, No. 3 (Jul., 2001), pp. 620-633
DOI: 10.2307/2669242
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2669242
Page Count: 14
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The Economy and Policy Mood: A Fundamental Dynamic of Democratic Politics?
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Abstract

This article aims to establish empirically whether changes in the aggregate policy preferences of voters in western democracies relate systematically to national economic performance. Results from a time-series, cross-sectional regression analysis of data on aggregate policy preferences from fourteen western democracies (1956-1989) support a hypothesis originally suggested, for the American case, by Durr (1993): when the economy expands aggregate policy preferences move left, but when the economy contracts aggregate policy preferences move right. This finding sustains the normatively appealing conclusion that change in aggregate policy preference reflects the measured response of many individuals to changes in their political environment.

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