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Pocketbook vs. Sociotropic Corruption Voting

  • Marko Klašnja, Joshua A. Tucker and Kevin Deegan-Krause

Abstract

The article examines the relationship between corruption and voting behavior by defining two distinct channels: pocketbook corruption voting, i.e. how personal experiences with corruption affect voting behavior; and sociotropic corruption voting, i.e. how perceptions of corruption in society do so. Individual and aggregate data from Slovakia fail to support hypotheses that corruption is an undifferentiated valence issue, that it depends on the presence of a viable anti-corruption party, or that voters tolerate (or even prefer) corruption, and support the hypothesis that the importance of each channel depends on the salience of each source of corruption and that pocketbook corruption voting prevails unless a credible anti-corruption party shifts media coverage of corruption and activates sociotropic corruption voting. Previous studies may have underestimated the prevalence of corruption voting by not accounting for both channels.

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Klašnja and Tucker: Wilf Family Department of Politics, New York University (emails: mk3296@nyu.edu, and joshua.tucker@nyu.edu); Deegan-Krause: Department of Political Science, Wayne State University (email: kdk@wayne.edu). For valuable comments and suggestions, the authors thank James Anderson, Michaël Aklin, Pablo Barberá, Ivan Dianiška, Patrick Egan, James Hollyer, Andrew Little, Natalija Novta, Emília Sičáková-Beblavá, Dan Slater, Martin Slosiarik, Dan Treisman, seminar participants at Yale, University of Gothenburg, LSE, University of Chicago, and NYU, and attendees and discussants at the conferences at University of Texas A&M, Fundación Juan March, the 2011 APSA Annual Meeting, the 2011 ASEEES Annual Meeting, the 2013 MPSA Annual Meeting, the 2013 ISNIE Annual Meeting, and the 2013 EPSA Annual Meeting. Replication archive is available at https://files.nyu.edu/mk3296/public/files/publications/pocket_replication.zip. Data replication sets and online appendices are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi: 10.1017/S0007123414000088. Follow us on Twitter@j_a_tucker and @kdecay.

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