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Procedural Fairness and Economic Voting

Pedro C. Magalhães () and Luís Aguiar-Conraria ()
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Pedro C. Magalhães: ICS/ University of Lisbon

No 07/2017, NIPE Working Papers from NIPE - Universidade do Minho

Abstract: What accounts for the instability of economic voting? Contextual factors assumed so far to affect this relationship include the degree of control over the economy exerted by governments, their partisan-ideological composition, or even voters’ experience with democratic elections. In this paper, we provide an alternative account. Based on a vast literature originating in social and organizational psychology, we propose the existence of a process-outcome interaction: short-term outcomes matter, but the weight voters assign to them depends on the extent to which governance is perceived to adhere to principles of procedural fairness. Based on data on twenty years of elections in the OECD countries, we show that the strength of the relationship between GDP growth and the share of the vote for the incumbent parties does depends on the perceived procedural fairness in governance. We conduct extensive robustness tests, including the use of alternative indicators of fairness and survey data.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-fdg and nep-pol
Date: 2017
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