What Is and What May Never Be: Economic Voting in Developing Democracies Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 by the Southwestern Social Science Association Objective: We propose and test a theory that media freedom determines the extent of economic voting in developing democracies. Methods: Building on extant work that suggests economic voting takes place in developing democracies much like it does in established democracies (Lewis-Beck and Stegmaier, 2008), we test our theory using a new collection of aggregate data from elections in 22 developing democracies in Africa. Results: Media freedom rather than political freedom may be a bigger determinant of economic voting in developing democracies. Moreover, the threshold of political development needed for economic voting is lower than previously suggested by the literature. Conclusion: Economic voting is alive and well in developing democracieseven those with relatively low levels of economic and political development.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Wimpy, C., & Whitten, G. D.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Wimpy, Cameron||Whitten, Guy D

publication date

  • September 2017