The use of aggregate data in the study of voting behavior

Ecological inference, ecological fallacy and other applications

Authored by: Luana Russo

The Routledge Handbook of Elections, Voting Behaviorand Public Opinion

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138890404
eBook ISBN: 9781315712390
Adobe ISBN:


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A large part of the most prominent and seminal applied works in the field of voting behavior in political science is based on three major research schools: the School of Columbia, which focuses on the importance of social factors, the School of Michigan, which mainly focuses on party identification, and the rational choice theory, which stresses the importance of rationality, uncertainty and economic voting. The common trait of these three very prominent schools is that their theoretical approach and the applied evidences that they present are based on individual data (Lazarsfeld, Berelson and Gaudet 1944; Campbell et al. 1960; Downs 1957, among others).

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