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Sociotropic Voting and the Media

Ansolabehere, Stephen and Meredith, Marc and Snowberg, Erik (2012) Sociotropic Voting and the Media. In: Improving Public Opinion Surveys: Interdisciplinary Innovation and the American National Election Survey. Princeton University Press , Princeton, NJ, pp. 175-189. ISBN 9780691151458.

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The literature on economic voting notes that voters' subjective evaluations of the overall state of the economy are correlated with vote choice, whereas personal economic experiences are not (Kinder and Kiewiet 1979, 1981). Missing from this literature is a description of how voters acquire information about the general state of the economy and use that information to form perceptions. To begin understanding this process, we asked a series of questions on the 2006 ANES Pilot Study about respondents' perceptions of the average price of gas and the unemployment rate in their home states. In this chapter, we analyze both the determinants and political consequences of respondents' perceptions of these economic variables. Questions about gas prices and unemployment show differences in respondents' sources of information about these two economic variables. We found evidence consistent with the idea that information about unemployment rates comes from media sources, and is biased by partisan factors, and that information about gas prices comes only from everyday experiences. While information about both indicators shows effects from demographics, only estimates of unemployment rates are correlated with a respondent's political outlook. Moreover, perceptions of unemployment rates can be used to isolate the effect of economics on partisan preferences.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:© 2012 Princeton University Press.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120531-102106077
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31742
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Aug 2012 16:10
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:54

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