Title

Since the beginning of the economic crisis voters have punished incumbent governments for rising unemployment, but not for rising income inequality.

Document Type

News Article

Publication Title

LSE EUROPP Blog

Department

Economics

ISSN

2572-6803

Publication Date

6-17-2013

Abstract

Rising income inequality has been a key criticism during protests such as the ‘Occupy’ movement, but it is unclear how such criticisms affect voting behaviour. Florence Bouvet and Sharmila King test the extent to which voters have penalised incumbent governments for increases in income inequality and unemployment, both before and after the start of the economic crisis. They find that while a rise in unemployment is strongly linked to a decrease in support for incumbent parties, there is no evidence that voters have penalised incumbents for rises in income inequality. This suggests that citizens might conceive of some economic problems as an ‘exogenous shock’ which their governments cannot be held entirely accountable for.

Comments

The London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, European Politics and Policy Blog