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20-07-2018 | Original Paper | Issue 4/2019 Open Access

Political Behavior 4/2019

The Political Consequences of Self-Insurance: Evidence from Central-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia

Journal:
Political Behavior > Issue 4/2019
Authors:
Katerina Tertytchnaya, Catherine E. De Vries
Important notes

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11109-018-9482-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors wish to thank Ben Ansell, Ryan Carlin, Elias Dinas, David Doyle, Gwen Sasse and Hector Solaz for commenting on previous drafts of this paper as well as two anonymous reviewers and the editor of Political Behavior for their excellent suggestions on how to improve the manuscript. All the data and replication code have been made publicly available and can be downloaded directly from the Political Behavior Dataverse page, see https://​doi.​org/​10.​7910/​DVN/​4SIEEF.

Abstract

Does self-insurance, such as access to savings or assets, affect support for government? While existing research recognizes that households’ ability to privately manage income risk and economic uncertainty influences voter redistributive preferences, we know relatively little about how self-insurance affects evaluations of government in the first place. To gain traction on this question, we combine cross-sectional and panel public opinion surveys from 28 countries in Central Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia with macro-data on economic performance. Exploiting variation in citizen responses to the Great Recession, we show that by enabling citizens to smooth consumption, self-insurance affects how they form economic perceptions. Moreover, we find that self-insurance bolsters support for incumbents. Results allow us to better understand why economic downturns may not dampen support for government, even when economic hardship is rife and access to public safety nets is limited.
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