Economics and the U.S. Presidential Election of 2012

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201703272357
Julkaisun nimi: Economics and the U.S. Presidential Election of 2012
Tekijä: Johnston, Casey
Muu tekijä: Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Politiikan ja talouden tutkimuksen laitos
Julkaisija: Helsingfors universitet
Päiväys: 2013
Kieli: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201703272357
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/39533
Opinnäytteen taso: pro gradu -tutkielmat
Oppiaine: Political Science, Politics
Yleinen valtio-oppi, politiikan tutkimus
Allmän statslära, politologi
Tiivistelmä: This Master’s Thesis aims to explore the link between the state of the economy and the outcome of elections in the United States. The thesis begins with an introduction that focuses on the importance that the economy has had in determining elections, in particular, the presidential election of 2012. After a brief opening, it then moves to a comprehensive review of previous literature related to what has been tagged the ‘economic voting theory: the idea that voters reward incumbents for positive economic outcomes and punish them for negative ones. Next, I suggest the addition of another dimension to the economic voting theory in order to separate my research from previous studies on this topic. The additional dimension is what is known as the ‘shale gas revolution’: an enormous increase in natural gas production capacity that has created jobs and pumped money into the American economy. I am interested in finding how and if the positive economic effects of the shale gas revolution helped to increase support for Barack Obama in the 2012 election as the economic voting theory would suggest. From there I will further refine the research question by selecting the state of Ohio as the focus of my study based on both its experience with the shale gas revolution and its history as a swing state. With this, the research question that this thesis aims to answer becomes: According to the economic theory of voting, did improved economic conditions help to boost support for Barack Obama in Ohio in the 2012 Presidential Election? Finally, I am able to begin the analysis using data in the form of economic indicators in order to establish the impact that the shale gas revolution has had on the economy and then explore whether these positive effects coincided with support for President Obama.
Avainsanat: presidental election
economic voting theory
voting behavior
presidentinvaalit
Yhdysvallat


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