Assets and Risk: A Neglected Dimension of Economic Voting
GB : Palgrave Macmillan
97 - 119 p.
voting behavior, economic voting, France, presidential elections, assets and risk
Economic voting studies have been dominated by the classic reward– punishment paradigm, in which voters vote for the incumbent under good economic performance, but against und er bad. This paradigm works well when the economic issue is a valence issue, such as prosperity. However, it leaves out positional economic voting, in which the voter’s place in the economic structure influences policy preference, and thus party preference. More precisely, we suggest that the better the economic loca tion of voters in terms of assets, high- risk assets in particular, the more they wi ll vote right, because the right promises a better return on their investments. We demonstrate this effect in French presidential election data, from t hree national surveys – 1988, 1995 and 2002. This assets effect well exceeds other economic effects tested, and does so under strong statistical controls.