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Economic Voting and Multi-level Governance
Unformatted Document Text:  Results Table 1 shows the results for each of four models. Each model considers the effects of a different indicator of decentralization. As expected, in all the models, the coefficient for previous incumbent vote percentage is both large and highly significant. Knowing the strength of electoral support from the previous election explains a large percentage of the current incumbent support. (Table 1 about here) The variables of greatest theoretical interest are the direct effects of unemployment and the horizontal and vertical clarity interaction terms with unemployment. 6 In model 1, the direct effect of unemployment is statistically significant and the coefficient is well below zero (-0.32). By contrast, the coefficient for unemployment in the least horizontally clear cases is positive and significant (p<.1). This result indicates that rates of unemployment have smaller effects on incumbent vote share under conditions of low horizontal clarity and confirms prior findings. Similar to the coefficient for the horizontal clarity-unemployment interaction term, it is expected that the federal interaction term should be positive. While not reaching statistical significance, the coefficient (0.11) is in the expected direction and of moderate magnitude. Results using the regional election interaction term (in Model 2) are very similar to those of the first model in terms of coefficient direction and magnitude with the exception that the horizontal clarity interaction term loses significance. Models 3 and 4 perform less well. The effect of unemployment in conditions of low horizontal clarity continues to be in the expected direction (positive). In contrast to Models 1 and 2, the effect of unemployment under different criteria of vertical clarity in models 3 and 4 is actually strengthened. While the results from the regression models convey information about the role of clarity in weakening the effects of unemployment, a more complete understanding of the effects of unemployment on incumbent vote share under different conditions of clarity can be ascertained by developing linear combinations of the unemployment coefficients from each model. 7 Following the argument, it is expected that unemployment will have the greatest effect (both in terms of coefficient magnitude and statistical significance) in the most horizontally and vertically clear cases. By extension, the effects of unemployment should be weakest in the least horizontally and vertically clear cases. Finally, relative to these extremes, the effects of unemployment are expected to be moderate in mixed conditions of clarity. (Table 2 about here) Table 2 shows the results of linear combinations developed as functions of the models estimated in Table 1. As seen from the linear combinations of federal institutions in Model 1, negative effects of unemployment on incumbent vote share are greatest in the 5 The models as specified only allow for the additive effect of clarity. In theory, clarity may operate multiplicatively as well. However, when modelled multiplicatively, the models break down-mainly due to collinearity problems. Additionally, tests using individual-level data showed no multiplicative effect of horizontal and vertical clarity (Anderson, 2004). 6 All analyses were conducted using Stata. To develop linear combinations of coefficients, the ‘lincom’ command was used. This post-estimation command produces coefficients, standard errors and t-statistics.

Authors: Anderson, Cameron.
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Results
Table 1 shows the results for each of four models. Each model considers the
effects of a different indicator of decentralization. As expected, in all the models, the
coefficient for previous incumbent vote percentage is both large and highly significant.
Knowing the strength of electoral support from the previous election explains a large
percentage of the current incumbent support.
(Table
1
about
here)
The variables of greatest theoretical interest are the direct effects of unemployment
and the horizontal and vertical clarity interaction terms with unemployment.
6
In model 1,
the direct effect of unemployment is statistically significant and the coefficient is well
below zero (-0.32). By contrast, the coefficient for unemployment in the least horizontally
clear cases is positive and significant (p<.1). This result indicates that rates of
unemployment have smaller effects on incumbent vote share under conditions of low
horizontal clarity and confirms prior findings.
Similar to the coefficient for the horizontal clarity-unemployment interaction term,
it is expected that the federal interaction term should be positive. While not reaching
statistical significance, the coefficient (0.11) is in the expected direction and of moderate
magnitude. Results using the regional election interaction term (in Model 2) are very
similar to those of the first model in terms of coefficient direction and magnitude with the
exception that the horizontal clarity interaction term loses significance.
Models 3 and 4 perform less well. The effect of unemployment in conditions of
low horizontal clarity continues to be in the expected direction (positive). In contrast to
Models 1 and 2, the effect of unemployment under different criteria of vertical clarity in
models 3 and 4 is actually strengthened.
While the results from the regression models convey information about the role of
clarity in weakening the effects of unemployment, a more complete understanding of the
effects of unemployment on incumbent vote share under different conditions of clarity can
be ascertained by developing linear combinations of the unemployment coefficients from
each model.
7
Following the argument, it is expected that unemployment will have the
greatest effect (both in terms of coefficient magnitude and statistical significance) in the
most horizontally and vertically clear cases. By extension, the effects of unemployment
should be weakest in the least horizontally and vertically clear cases. Finally, relative to
these extremes, the effects of unemployment are expected to be moderate in mixed
conditions of clarity.
(Table
2
about
here)
Table 2 shows the results of linear combinations developed as functions of the
models estimated in Table 1. As seen from the linear combinations of federal institutions
in Model 1, negative effects of unemployment on incumbent vote share are greatest in the
5
The models as specified only allow for the additive effect of clarity. In theory, clarity may operate
multiplicatively as well. However, when modelled multiplicatively, the models break down-mainly due to
collinearity problems. Additionally, tests using individual-level data showed no multiplicative effect of
horizontal and vertical clarity (Anderson, 2004).
6
All analyses were conducted using Stata. To develop linear combinations of coefficients, the ‘lincom’
command was used. This post-estimation command produces coefficients, standard errors and t-statistics.


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