Browsing by Author "Airikkala, Antoni"

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  • Airikkala, Antoni (2011)
    The objective of the research is to measure the effect of economic perceptions on the support of the incumbent government during years 2006 and 2007 in Poland. The theoretical background of the research is based on the theory of political business cycles according which politicians try to manipulate the economy before the elections in order to get re-elected. The responsibility hypothesis suggests that the electorate will reward the incumbent government for a good economic situation. Thus, if the electorate is unhappy with the economic situation, they vote for opposition and vice versa. How then does the electorate create their perceptions on the economic situation? In this research I will examine if the perceptions of the current economy or the upcoming assumed economic development matter more. The perception of the current economic situation is based on the observations of the already materialized economic policies. Thus, the perception of the current economic situation is called retrospective perception of economics, being that it is based on retrospective observations. Prospective economic perception is based on foresight and expectations of the upcoming economic development and also on the belief that the incumbent government is the best option for positive economic development. In addition to the retrospective/prospective dimension, there are two variables which measure if the own personal economic situation matter more than the perception of the national/macro economy have been measured. If the popularity of the government is a determinant of the perception and analysis of one’s personal economic standing, the voters act ego tropically. If the macro economy matters more, I call the electorate sociotropic. The data consists of the latest available household polling data, collected by the public opinion research center of Poland (CBOS) in the years of 2006 and 2007. I have combined the data from 22 months. The data has been analyzed with logistic regression models. The results show that the prospective sosiotropic perceptions have the biggest impact on the support of the incumbent government. In regards to the personal economy, positive perceptions on the future contribute also positively on the incumbent government support. The retrospective perception, however, works against the theory; those who evaluated the development of their personal economy positively had a higher probability of not supporting the incumbent government. The control variables were age, gender, education, place of living, perceptions of the development of the job market, political views on leftist or rightist ideologies and religion. The selection of control variables was based on previous studies. Religion, political views, education, place of living and age proved to be statistically significant variables. After controlling these variables, the economic perceptions explained 20% of the variation on the probability to support the incumbent government.