Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 11 > Issue 3

When a Null Pocketbook Effect is the Artifact: Strategically Underreported Income and the Attenuation of Egotropic Voting

Elizabeth Carlson, Pennsylvania State University, USA, ecc13@psu.edu Amanda Fidalgo, Pennsylvania State University, USA, aif107@psu.edu
 
Suggested Citation
Elizabeth Carlson and Amanda Fidalgo (2016), "When a Null Pocketbook Effect is the Artifact: Strategically Underreported Income and the Attenuation of Egotropic Voting", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 11: No. 3, pp 339-361. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00015172

Published: 31 Oct 2016
© 2016 E. Carlson and A. Fidalgo
 
Subjects
Elections: Voting behavior,  Comparative politics
 
Keywords
African politicsvoting behaviormeasurement error
 

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In this article:
1. Introduction
2. The Sources of Bias
3. Approach
4. Identifying Bias
5. Accounting for Bias
6. Conclusion
References

Abstract

We argue that the lack of a strong and consistent correlation between egotropic assessments and vote choice in observational data from poor countries may be a statistical artifact resulting from respondents' attempts to evade taxation. Using data from two rounds of the Afrobarometer, we show that respondents report significantly worse economic conditions when they think they are reporting to the government; the likelihood of misreporting increases with actual or perceived effective tax rate. Misreporting causes a conflation in the data between those who are actually experiencing worsening conditions and those who are merely claiming to, attenuating the apparent effect of pocketbook concerns on the vote. When we control for this bias in the African data, we find that egotropic evaluations are significantly and positively correlated with vote choice.

DOI:10.1561/100.00015172

Online Appendix | 100.00015172_app.pdf

This is the article's accompanying appendix.

DOI: 10.1561/100.00015172_app

Replication Data | 100.00015172_supp.zip (ZIP).

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DOI: 10.1561/100.00015172_supp