Do Voters Affect or Elect policies? A new perspective, with evidence from the U.S. Senate
Title: Do Voters Affect or Elect policies? A new perspective, with evidence from the U.S. Senate
Author: ALBOUY, David
Citation: Electoral Studies, 2011, 30, 1, 162-173, Special Symposium on Electoral Democracy in the European Union
Series/Report no.: [EUDO Public Opinion Observatory]
Using quasi-experimental evidence from close elections, – henceforth LMB – argue competition for voters in U.S. House elections does not affect policy positions, as incumbent Senate candidates do not vote more extremely if elected than non-incumbents. Despite stronger electoral competition and greater legislative independence, similar results, shown here, hold for the Senate. Yet, the hypothesis that voters do not affect policies conflicts with how Senators moderate their positions prior to their next election. LMB-style estimates appear to be biased downwards as junior members of Congress prefer to vote more extremely than senior members, independently of their electoral strength. Corrected estimates are more favorable to the hypothesis that candidates moderate their policy choices in response to electoral competition.
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction 2. The Senate versus the House 3. LMB methodology applied to the Senate 4. Do voters affect policies immediately before elections? 5. Correcting for dynamic misspecification in LMB estimates 6. Conclusion Acknowledgments Appendix Reference
Publication based on research carried out in the framework of the European Union Democracy Observatory (EUDO) of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute.; The journal issue has been produced in the framework of the PIREDEU Project, one of the projects carried out by the EUDO Public Opinion Observatory.
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