Promises, Policies and Pocketbook Voting

Reprint No. 2015:16

Author(s): Mikael Elinder, Henrik Jordahl and Panu PoutvaaraYear: 2015 Title: European Economic Review Volume (No.): 75 (April) Pages: 177–194

Promises, Policies and Pocketbook Voting Mikael Elinder, Henrik Jordahl and Panu Poutvaara

Do voters respond to political parties׳ promises or to their past actions? We use a suitable sequence of events in Swedish politics to provide the first answer to this question. In the 1994 election campaign the Social Democrats proposed major cuts in transfers to parents with young children, whereas in the 1998 campaign they promised to increase transfers. The Social Democrats won both elections and delivered on both promises. Using voting among parents with slightly older children as counterfactual, we find that voters with young children responded markedly to economic promises rather than to implemented policies.

Elinder, Mikael, Henrik Jordahl and Panu Poutvaara (2015), "Promises, Policies and Pocketbook Voting". European Economic Review 75(April), 177–194.

Henrik Jordahl


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Mikael Elinder


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In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


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