Events
Date
May 8, 2017
Time
12:30pm to 2:00pm
Location

4357 Bunche Hall

Contact


Abstract:

There is a large literature on economic voting in the United States, which shows that the economy matters in presidential and congressional elections. Puzzlingly, however, the state politics literature has failed to find clear evidence for economic voting in gubernatorial elections. In this study, I use population-based datasets of county-level economic conditions from 1969-2016 to examine economic voting in gubernatorial elections.  I find strong evidence that voters hold gubernatorial candidates accountable for local economic conditions. Although the degree of economic accountability has diminished slightly in recent years, possibly due to the nationalization of elections, voters have continued to hold gubernatorial candidates accountable for the economy into the 2000s. In addition, I find no evidence that voters reward or punish gubernatorial candidates for the economy based on whether they share the president's party.  Overall, my findings show that there are strong electoral incentives for governors to pursue policies that grow the state economy.