Gasoline in the Voter’s Pocketbook: Driving Times to Work and the Electoral Implications of Gasoline Price Fluctuations (2021.08)

  • 저자 : Sung Eun Kim, Joonseok Yang
  • 발행처 : online first
  • 권호: 50(3)
  • 게재년월 : 2021년 08월
  • 초록 : Gasoline prices are often a heated topic during presidential election campaigns in the United States. Yet, presidents have limited control over gasoline prices. Do voters reward or punish the president for changes in gasoline prices? Why might voters blame the president for an outcome beyond direct presidential control? This study addresses these questions by testing the effects of gasoline prices on pocketbook retrospection by voters. To capture the personal economic burden of gasoline prices, we rely on average driving times to work, given the inelastic nature of gasoline consumption for commuting. The results provide evidence for pocketbook voting: constituencies with longer average driving times to work are more likely to hold the president accountable for gasoline price increases. These findings have broader implications regarding electoral accountability and rationality in voting.