Contextualizing the economic basis of political support: government economic engagement, economic perceptions, and democratic satisfaction

Min Tang, Narisong Huhe

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Citizens extend their support to the government based on their evaluation of the government’s economic performance. Yet, inadequate attention has been paid to how the economic roles of the government influence the economic basis of government support. We argue that the extent to which the government is engaged in the economy determines how people attribute economic success or failure to the government and thus moderates the effect of economic perceptions. Focusing on one widely researched measurement of political support in a democratic setting, democratic satisfaction, we analyze the moderating effect of government economic engagement on the effect of economic perceptions among eighteen Latin American democracies. A consistent finding yielded in our study is that with a higher level of economic engagement of the government, there is a stronger association between the perceptions of economic conditions and citizens’ satisfaction with democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-48
Number of pages48
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Jan 2019


  • economic perceptions
  • political support
  • democratic satisfaction
  • economic engagement
  • government role

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