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LOCAL ECONOMIC VOTING AND RESIDENCE-BASED REGIONALISM IN SOUTH KOREA: EVIDENCE FROM THE 2007 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

  • Woo Chang Kang

Abstract

Regional bloc voting in South Korea has been ascribed to voters’ psychological attachments to birthplace. This article seeks to expand the existing discussion of regionalism by showing that economic conditions in voters’ places of residence affect vote choices at the individual level and produce clustering of votes at the aggregate level in South Korea. While the idea of residence-based regionalism has previously been suggested, empirical scrutiny of the idea has been limited. Exploiting a Bayesian multilevel strategy, this article provides evidence that short-term economic changes at the province level affected voters’ choices in the 2007 presidential election in South Korea, independent of the long-term political affiliation between regional parties and their constituents. The positive association between local economic conditions and vote choices remains significant, controlling for perceptions of national economic conditions and other individual level covariates such as age and political attitudes.

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References

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