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Patrimonial Economic Voting Revisited - New Evidence from Swedish Register Data.

Conference contribution
Authors Johan Martinsson
Mikael J Persson
Published in APSA conference meeting 2013, Boston
Pages 23
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 23
Language en
Keywords voting behavior, economic voting, patrimony, register data
Subject categories Political Science


Recent research on economic voting has moved beyond the traditional reward-punishment hypothesis according to which the economy is merely considered a valence issue. Instead, patrimonial economic voting research looks at voters as property owners within the economic system. Previous studies have mostly used survey items measuring whether or not individuals own different kinds of property to test the patrimonial dimension. We emphasize the importance of a surprisingly neglected aspect; the value of assets. In this paper, we utilize official register data files from the Swedish Tax Agency on the value of individuals’ assets merged with survey data from the 2006 Swedish National Election Study. We find that patrimony effects exist in Sweden in much the same way as in other countries previously studied, but that the value of assets in themselves is an important and neglected aspect and the effect of patrimony is largely driven by the tendency that those with assets of the highest value tend to vote for center-right parties to a higher degree. Owning assets below medium value has only a very marginal effect on voting behavior and ideology.

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