Clarifying Clarity of Responsibility

 

Abstract

Institutions are thought to matter for the vote choice, and work on economic voting is exemplary in this regard. The strength of the economic vote varies considerably cross-nationally and this seems to emanate from differences in the clarity of responsibility. Still, this conceptual frame, dominant in the field, appears to have some cracks. First, almost all work presents analyses of the economic vote in smaller, split-samples of low and high clarity contexts separately. Second, the literature appears rather dispersed when the conceptual and empirical indicators are examined. We attempt to overcome these limitations by analyzing a large pool of democratic elections with a series of objective indicators. We investigate these indicators separately, and as components within two cumulative indices (institutional rules and power patterns). Our results indicate that, even though there are indications of differences in the strength of the economic vote in high and low clarity contexts respectively, institutional rules or power patterns fail to significantly deflect the overall electoral impact of economic growth.

 

Keywords

economic voting, clarity of responsibility, institutional rules, power patterns, incumbency


This content has been updated on 29 May 2017 at 4 h 00 min.