Seminar with Associate Professor Francesca Refsum Jensenius
Title of the presentation: "Party institutionalization and economic voting: Evidence from India" (co-authored paper with Pavithra Suryanarayan)
Economic voting is a well-established phenomenon in the developed world, while ndings from developing countries are more ambiguous. We argue that local-level party institutionalization me- diates the extent to which voters are informed about and attribute responsibility to a party for the economy. We focus on one dimension of party institutionalization: the strength of party-candidate linkages in elections. We manually trace the rerunning patterns of some 80,000 candidates in Indian state elections between 1986-2007. Using rerunning patterns as a measure of party-candidate link- ages and rainfall data as a measure of the state of the economy, we show that voters are more likely to reward incumbent parties for economic performance when parties and candidates are aligned in consecutive elections. We address concerns of endogeneity in rerunning patterns by showing that the results are robust to alternate measures of local party institutionalization. They are also robust to alternative measures of the state of the economy and to looking at individual-level data.