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Who is Held Responsible? Further Evidence on the Hibbing-Alford Thesis

Fiorina, Morris P. (1982) Who is Held Responsible? Further Evidence on the Hibbing-Alford Thesis. Social Science Working Paper, 435. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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Macroeconomic conditions clearly exert an impact on the electoral fortunes of the governing party, but little agreement exists about the micro-level mechanisms which underlie the aggregate relationships. In particular, efforts to base the aggregate level findings on the financial fortunes of individual voters have proved fruitless. Hibbing and Alford suggest, however, that previous studies have failed to differentiate among three types of in-party candidates—incumbents, open-seat candidates, and challengers of out-party incumbents—and that only in the first category should we find individual voters holding the in-party responsible. The strongest support for the argument consists of an analysis of 1978 survey data. This note replicates the Hibbing-Alford findings for 1978 using a different methodology, and provides additional analyses from five more election studies. In all, four of six elections yield a pattern of coefficients broadly consistent with the Hibbing-Alford thesis, but in only two elections—both on-year surprisingly enough—are the results on solid statistical ground.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
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Additional Information:I wish to thank [an anonymous referee] for helpful comments in an earlier version of this note. Published as Fiorina, Morris P. "Who is held responsible? Further evidence on the Hibbing-Alford thesis." American Journal of Political Science (1983): 158-164.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Subject Keywords:Incumbents, Voting, Political parties, Presidential elections, Economic conditions, Political candidates, Congressional elections, Coefficients, Economic models
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:435
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171002-151841783
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81970
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:04 Oct 2017 19:22
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:49

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