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Journal Article

Height, income and voting

Authors

Publication date

Oct 2018

Summary

The claim that income drives political preferences is at the core of political economy theory, yet empirical estimates of income’s effect on political behavior range widely. Drawing on traditions in economic history and anthropology, we propose using height as a proxy for economic well-being. Using data from the British Household Panel Study, this article finds that taller individuals are more likely to support the Conservative Party, support conservative policies and vote Conservative; a one-inch increase in height increases support for Conservatives by 0.6 per cent. As an extension, the study employs height as an instrumental variable for income, and finds that each additional thousand pounds of annual income translates into a 2–3 percentage point increase in the probability of supporting the Conservatives, and that income drives political beliefs and voting in the same direction.

Published in

British Journal of Political Science

Volume and page numbers

48 , 1027 -1051

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0007123416000211

ISSN

16

Subjects

Politics, Elections. Electoral Behaviour, Economics, Income Dynamics, and Biology

Links

University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* - http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1610772~S5

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