Quaranta, M. and S. Martini. ‘Does the economy really matter for satisfaction with democracy? Longitudinal and cross-country evidence from the European Union.’ Electoral Studies 42 (2016): 164-174
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Research focusing on the relationship between the economy and satisfaction with democracy often presents mixed results. This article argues that this uncertainty is mainly due to model specification, number of surveys and measurement. After discussing why the role of the economy should not be overlooked, by using an empirical strategy that applies Bayesian cross-classified mixed models to 572 national surveys in 28 European countries from 1973 to 2013 drawn from the Eurobarometer, it is shown that objective macro-economic indicators and a subjective indicator seem to substantially affect citizens’ satisfaction with democracy in Europe. The findings are robust when controlling for various institutional and political variables and using alternative model specifications.

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