Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-14-2015

Faculty Advisor(s)

Christine Gordon


Given the severe shock of the 2008 economic crisis, this paper examines the relationship the relationship between individual and aggregate economic evaluations and democratic accountability through data analysis of the 2012 American National Election Studies. It includes statistical analysis of presidential and congressional approval, personal restrospective and prospective economic evaluations, macroeconomic restrospective and prospective evaluations, and other relevant variables, such as income and ideological preferences to broaden the scope of analysis on political behavior. As the notion of democratic accountability is a foundational pillar of the American political system, such studies are critical to election years following economic fluctuations, where election-induced accountability for economic conditions is most apparent. This is also central to the values of American individualism by assessing where voters may "cast the blame" for unfavorable personal financial conditions. Economic voting theory maintains a strong relevance in voter behavior analysis, especially given the economic crisis of 2008. Such dramatic interference of economic volatility on election outcomes may lead one to pose the question: what if the economy had stayed on its ill-fated rise for just one more year, and had burst only after the election?


Presented at the Spring 2015 Student Research Day at Chapman University.