A Caltech Library Service

Who is held responsible? Further evidence on the Hibbing-Alford thesis

Fiorina, Morris P. (1983) Who is held responsible? Further evidence on the Hibbing-Alford thesis. American Journal of Political Science, 27 (1). pp. 158-164. ISSN 0092-5853. doi:10.2307/2111058.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Macroeconomic conditions clearly exert an impact on the electoral fortunes of the governing party, but little agreement exists about the microlevel mechanisms that underlie the aggregate relationships. In particular, efforts to base the aggregate findings on the financial fortunes of individual voters have proved fruitless. Hibbing and Alford suggest, however, that previous studies 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 is an analysis of 1978 survey data. This article 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 presidential election years surprisingly enough--are the results on solid statistical ground.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemWorking Paper
Additional Information:(c) 1983 by the University of Texas Press. Manuscript submitted 17 February 1982; Final manuscript received 8 June 1982. I wish to thank Richard Born for helpful comments on an earlier version of this note. Formerly SSWP 435.
Subject Keywords:Incumbents, Voting, Political parties, Presidential elections, Economic conditions, Political candidates, Congressional elections, Coefficients, Economic models
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171115-164422172
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83245
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:16 Nov 2017 18:20
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:56

Repository Staff Only: item control page