Home » » Digging into the Pocketbook: Evidence on Economic Voting from Income Registry Data Matched to a Voter Survey
Abstract: To paint a fuller picture of economic voters, we combine personal income records with a representative election survey. We examine three central topics in the economic voting literature: pocketbook versus sociotropic voting, the effects of partisanship on economic evaluations, and voter myopia. First, we show that voters who appear in survey data to be voting based on the national economy are, in fact, voting equally on the basis of their personal financial conditions. Second, there is strong evidence of both partisan bias and economic information in economic evaluations, but personal economic data is required to separate the two. Third, although in experiments and aggregate historical data recent economic conditions appear to drive vote choice, we find no evidence of myopia when we examine actual personal economic data.