Working Paper No. 821

Local Economies and General Elections: The Influence of Municipal and Regional Economic Conditions on Voting in Sweden 1985–2002

Published: January 5, 2010Pages: 24Keywords: Elections; Voting; Local Economic Conditions JEL-codes: H11, R11, R12, R58

Local Economies and General Elections: The Influence of Municipal and Regional Economic Conditions on Voting in Sweden 1985–2002 Mikael Elinder


This paper presents a detailed analysis of voters’ responses to municipality and regional-level unemployment and economic growth, using panel data on 284 municipalities and 9 regions and covering Swedish general elections from 1982 to 2002. The preferred specification suggests that a reduction in regional unemployment by one percentage point is associated with an increase in the support for the national government by about 1.7 percentage points. The effect of growth, at the regional level, is substantial in size, but statistically insignificant. At the municipality level, unemployment has a smaller effect than at the regional level and growth has no effect on government support.

Mikael Elinder

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