Economic voting in multi-level contexts: Evidence from Kerala and West Bengal in India

Ray, Subhasish and Varughese, Anil (2021) Economic voting in multi-level contexts: Evidence from Kerala and West Bengal in India. Electoral Studies, 73: 102378. ISSN 02613794

[thumbnail of ES2021.pdf] Text
ES2021.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (1MB) | Request a copy


What determines electoral support for national incumbent parties and state-level challengers in sub-national propoor contexts? Based on survey data from the Indian states of Kerala and West Bengal, collected prior to the 2019 national election, we find that voters were more (less) inclined to vote for the sub-national incumbent relative to the national incumbent if their household economic conditions were perceived to have improved (deteriorated) relative to national economic conditions. Our findings indicate that voters in these settings correctly assume that the sub-national incumbent cannot be held responsible for changes in national economic conditions, but, at the same time, the existence of a strong welfare state at the sub-national level creates expectations that the subnational government is responsible for personal welfare. Hence, the national election is used to assess the economic performance of both the sub-national and the national incumbent.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Elections | Public opinion | Voting behaviour | Political parties | Economic voting | Multi-level polities | Federalism | Pro-poor politics | Right-wing populism | South Asia | BJP | West Bengal | Kerala
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Political Science
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Demography
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2021 18:27
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2022 18:41
Official URL:


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item