The Persistence of the Asset Effect during French Presidential Elections
Revue française de science politique (English)
FR : Presses de Sciences Po
659 - 680 p.
Measurements of wealth, Economic vote, Electoral behavior
In a seminal and innovative book, Jacques Capdevielle and his colleagues suggested some thirty years ago the existence of an “asset effect” to help explain electoral behavior in France. Despite the significance of this finding, the issue has received little subsequent attention. The measurement of wealth has been given less and less space in French election surveys, particularly during the 2007 presidential elections. We show in this paper that the “asset effect” is still relevant today for explaining voting behavior in France. By proposing a general model based on the idea of risk aversion, we show to what extent risky assets are a powerful predictor of right-wing voting in France over the 1988-2007 period. This finding demonstrates the value of reviving this innovative concept from French political science.