A Cross-National Analysis of Economic Voting: Taking Account of the Political Context Academic Article uri icon


  • A large literature has demonstrated that such economic factors as growth, inflation, and unemployment affect the popularity of incumbents within many democratic countries. However, cross-national aggregate analyses of "economic voting" show only weak and inconsistent economic effects. We argue for the systematic incorporation of political factors that shape the electoral consequences of economic performance. Multivariate analyses of 102 elections in 19 industrialized democracies are used to estimate the cross-national impact of economic and political factors. The analyses show that considerations of the ideological image of the government, its electoral base, and the clarity of its political responsibility are essential to understanding the effects of economic conditions on voting for or against incumbents.

published proceedings

  • American Journal of Political Science

altmetric score

  • 10

author list (cited authors)

  • Powell, G. B., & Whitten, G. D.

citation count

  • 1108

complete list of authors

  • Powell, G Bingham||Whitten, Guy D

publication date

  • May 1993