Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.
Mughan and Lacy. 2002. Economic performance, job insecurity, and electoral choice. British Journal of Political Science 32:513-33.
The literature on economic voting has debated the relative importance of sociotropic vs egocentric evaluations of the economy. But both approaches focus on short-term economic evaluations. We must look at other evaluations. The authors point out the importance of job insecurity, which had strong effects on the Perot voters in 1996.
Job insecurity matters for two reasons. First, it taps into something broader than recent performance; it reflects popular hopes and optimism for the next generation. Second, it represents a different set of stimuli than recent performance, and these stimuli may have different political effects.
In 1996, both major candidates supported free trade. Dole was supportive of Clinton's passage of NAFTA. However, job insecurity was high in 1996, and there were many reports of jobs going overseas. Perot tapped into this sentiment and ran a campaign of job security and protectionism. Thus, both egocentric and sociotropic perceptions of job insecurity should affect (1) support for Perot and (2) abstention from voting.
From NYTimes survey. For measures and operationalization, see 519-520.
Research by the same authors
Research on similar subjects