# Reassessing the Link between Voter Heterogeneity and Political Accountability: A Latent Class Regression Model of Economic Voting

Katz, Jonathan N. and Katz, Gabriel Reassessing the Link between Voter Heterogeneity and Political Accountability: A Latent Class Regression Model of Economic Voting. Working Paper (Unpublished)

 Preview
PDF - Draft Version
While recent research has underscored the conditioning effect of individual characteristics on economic voting behavior, most empirical studies have failed to explicitly incorporate observed heterogeneity into statistical analyses linking citizens' economic evaluations to electoral choices. In order to overcome these drawbacks, we propose a latent class regression model to jointly analyze the determinants and influence of economic voting in Presidential and Congressional elections. Our modeling approach allows us to better describe the effects of individual covariates on economic voting and to test hypotheses on the existence of heterogeneous types of voters, providing an empirical basis for assessing the relative validity of alternative explanations proposed in the literature. Using survey data from the 2004 U.S. Presidential, Senate and House elections, we and that voters with college education and those more interested in political campaigns based their vote on factors other than their economic perceptions. In contrast, less educated and interested respondents assigned considerable weight to economic assessments, with sociotropic jugdgments strongly in uencing their vote in the Presidential election and personal financial considerations affecting their vote in House elections. We conclude that the main distinction in the 2004 election was not between sociotropic' and pocketbook' voters, but rather between economic' and non-economic' voters.