When a null pocketbook effect is the artifact: Strategically underreported income and the attenuation of egotropic voting

Elizabeth Carlson, Amanda Fidalgo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-361
Number of pages23
JournalQuarterly Journal of Political Science
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 31 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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