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Asymmetric evaluations: Government popularity and economic performance in the United Kingdom

Kappe, R; (2018) Asymmetric evaluations: Government popularity and economic performance in the United Kingdom. Electoral Studies , 53 pp. 133-138. 10.1016/j.electstud.2018.02.002. Green open access

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Abstract

This article introduces a new method for testing asymmetric, reference-point-dependent behaviour in economic voting. Specifically, prospect theory suggests that people exhibit loss aversion, which crucially depends on a reference point. In practice, this reference point is often unknown. This article proposes a procedure to estimate reference points from the data using threshold models, and then test whether above- and below reference point effects are equivalent, or whether negative changes have stronger effects as predicted by prospect theory. This method is applied to the relationship between economic performance and government popularity in the United Kingdom, using monthly time series data over the last thirty years. The results show that there is asymmetric, reference-point-dependent behaviour, most notably in the relationship between unemployment and government popularity.

Type: Article
Title: Asymmetric evaluations: Government popularity and economic performance in the United Kingdom
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.electstud.2018.02.002
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2018.02.002
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Economic voting, Asymmetric evaluations, Prospect theory, Loss aversion, Negativity bias, Time series
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10047525
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