Economics and Ideology: Causal Evidence of the Impact of Economic Conditions on Support for Redistribution and Other Ballot Proposals
Eric J. Brunner
Stephen L. Ross
Ebonya L. Washington
There is a large literature demonstrating that positive economic conditions increase support for incumbent candidates, but little understanding of how economic conditions affect preferences for parties and for particulars of their platforms. We ask how exogenous shifts to the value of residentsâ€™ human capital affect voting behavior in California neighborhoods. As predicted by economic theory, we find that positive economic shocks decrease support for redistributive policies. More notably, we find evidence of the need for cognitive consistency in voting behavior as economic shocks have a smaller but still significant impact on voting on non-economic ballot issues.
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