The 1988 Assembly elections in South Korea provide an opportunity to explore whether voting based on short-term economic fluctuations was a feature of the elections. The research design regresses party votes from a large sample of the 224 electoral districts against several well-known determinants of Korean voting behavior (regionalism, urban-rural residence, and social class), as well as district unemployment rates and levels and changes in income. With traditional explanations of voting behavior held constant, income variables had no apparent influence on the vote. However, the coefficients for unemployment rates are large, statistically significant, and in a direction entirely consistent with the theory of rational economic voting. There are grounds for including short-term economic variables in future modeling of Korean electoral behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development