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A Choice-Based Measure of Issue Importance in the Electorate

Hanretty, C; Lauderdale, B; Vivyan, N; (2020) A Choice-Based Measure of Issue Importance in the Electorate. American Journal of Political Science , 64 (3) pp. 519-535. 10.1111/ajps.12470. Green open access

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Abstract

Measuring how much citizens care about different policy issues is critical for political scientists, yet existing measurement approaches have significant limitations. We provide a new survey‐experimental, choice‐based approach for measuring the importance voters attach to different positional issues, including issues not currently contested by political elites. We combine information from (a) direct questions eliciting respondents' positions on different issues with (b) a conjoint experiment asking respondents to trade off departures from their preferred positions on those issues. Applying this method to study the relative importance of 34 issues in the United Kingdom, we show that British voters attach significant importance to issues like the death penalty that are not presently the subject of political debate and attach more importance to those issues associated with social liberal–conservative rather than economic left–right divisions.

Type: Article
Title: A Choice-Based Measure of Issue Importance in the Electorate
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12470
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12470
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.
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/10075066
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