An experimental test of the economic vote: impact, asymmetry and conditionality

Roberto Pannico (ICS-Lisboa)

9th of July, 16:00h, Zoom meetingID de reunió: 69 3036 9569. Contrasenya: 566566
This paper focuses on the impact of the economic vote, its asymmetry and its conditionality. It uses experimental data from an on-line survey conducted simultaneously in six EU countries (Belgium, Ireland, Greece, Germany, Portugal and Spain) to investigate the dynamics of economic voting taking into account all possible sources of endogeneity. Our unique research design allows us to settle three important ongoing debates in the literature: whether the economic vote has any exogenous impact, whether its effects are stronger when economic performance is negative, and whether its impact depends on the voters’ ability to hold the government responsible for policy. All hypotheses pertain to European multi-party systems, and conditionality is tested in relation to the EMU case. Our results strongly support the idea that the country’s economic situation matters for the vote, putting to rest the claim that this effect is endogenous to party identification. In addition, our analysis confirms that negative economic performances hurt incumbents more than positive ones help them. As regards the attribution of responsibility to the EU for the state of the economy, it does not seem to influence the economic vote, unless parties’ and voters’ positions on the EU are taken into account. Indeed, given its high degree of politicization, the Europeanization of the economic policy is a sui generis phenomenon whose impact should be analysed in its specificities.