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Economic Voting and Multilevel Governance: A Comparative Individual-Level Analysis

Cameron D. Anderson
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 50, No. 2 (Apr., 2006), pp. 449-463
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3694283
Page Count: 15
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Economic Voting and Multilevel Governance: A Comparative Individual-Level Analysis
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Abstract

An important component of incumbent support is the reward/punishment calculus of economic voting. Previous work has shown that "clarity of responsibility" within the central state government conditions national economic effects on incumbent vote choice: where clarity is high (low), economic effects are greater (less). This article advances the "clarity of responsibility" argument by considering the effect of multilevel governance on economic voting. In institutional contexts of multilevel governance, the process of correctly assigning responsibility for economic outcomes can be difficult. This article tests the proposition that multilevel governance mutes effects of national economic conditions by undermining responsibility linkages to the national government. Individual-level data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems Module 1 are used to test this proposition. Results demonstrate that economic voting is weakest in countries where multilevel governance is most prominent. Findings are discussed in light of the contribution to the economic voting literature and the potential implications of multilevel governance.

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