Individual level dynamics of PTV change across the electoral cycle
Title: Individual level dynamics of PTV change across the electoral cycle
Citation: Electoral Studies, 2013, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 900-904
Propensity-to-vote (PTV) scores are ever more commonly used in electoral research as a measure of electoral utilities. Yet a growing literature employs them as dependent variable in the voting equation in place of the lower information granted by vote recall questions. However, this choice can be seen as problematic because of the very structure of election survey research. To the extent that voters' PTVs are measured in post-election surveys (as it is often the case) these are likely to result endogenously produced by actual voting behavior in the past election – thus partly undermining the validity of the PTV question which, ideally, should not be related to any specific election. In this paper, we try to disentangle the relationship between short-term political attitudes (leader evaluations, issue proximity, economic assessments) and voters' changing patterns of propensities to vote in both an electoral and a non-electoral context. The latter scenario serves as a means to rule out the potentially contaminating effect of voting choices on voters' PTVs. The data comes from two panel surveys of Italian voters conducted by ITANES in occasion of the 2006 general election, and in 2011 (that is, in a non-electoral year) respectively.
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