Voting after a Major Flood: Is there a Link between Democratic Experience and Retrospective Voting?

50 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2019 Last revised: 22 Jan 2021

See all articles by Michael Neugart

Michael Neugart

Technical University of Darmstadt

Johannes Rode

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Date Written: October 15, 2019

Abstract

We explore whether retrospective voting is related to voters’ democratic experience. To this end, we compare the voting behavior in West Germany to the voting behavior in the formerly non-democratic East Germany after a disaster relief program addressing a flood in 2013. Our analysis reveals a 0.9 to 2.5 percentage points increase in the vote share for the incumbent party in the flooded municipalities in the East compared to the West. Analyzing an earlier flood, variation of democratic experience within East Germany, and a panel survey provides further evidence that less democratically experienced voters are easier prey to pre-election policies.

Keywords: retrospective voting, natural disaster, democratic experience, relief program

JEL Classification: D72, D78, H84, R10

Suggested Citation

Neugart, Michael and Rode, Johannes, Voting after a Major Flood: Is there a Link between Democratic Experience and Retrospective Voting? (October 15, 2019). European Economic Review, 2021, pp. 103665. DOI:10.1016/j.euroecorev.2021.103665, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3470110 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3470110

Michael Neugart

Technical University of Darmstadt ( email )

Hochschulstraße 1
Darmstadt, 64289
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.vwl3.wi.tu-darmstadt.de

Johannes Rode (Contact Author)

Technische Universität Darmstadt ( email )

Chair of International Economics
Hochschulstraße 1
Darmstadt, 64289
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.vwl2.wi.tu-darmstadt.de/rode

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