Citizen Preferences and Public Policy

Ian Budge, Hans Keman, Michael McDonald and Paul Pennings

in Organizing Democratic Choice

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199654932
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741685 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Citizen Preferences and Public Policy

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Average citizen positions are almost identical to average voter positions over the long run. This chapter offers a spatial view of how public policy, as measured through government expenditure, corresponds in Left-Right terms to citizen and voter preferences, for eight European countries from 1972-1995. Where parties bracket these preferences; parties alternate in government; and policy changes slowly (as specified in our theory and model), public policy comes close to meeting popular preferences. In Italy and Ireland, where these conditions are wholly or partly absent, they do not. This provides direct and striking evidence for this book’s arguments.

Keywords: median voter; mean plurality voter; median citizen; government expenditure; correspondence

Chapter.  6416 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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