Colombia Internacional (2018-10-01)

The Road to Partisan Independence: An Extension and Empirical Test of the “Running Tally” Approach in Latin America

  • Benjamín Temkin Yedwab,
  • Gerardo Isaac Cisneros Yescas

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 96
pp. 3 – 27


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This article presents an analytical extension to Fiorina’s “running tally” approach to party identification through empirical testing using Latin American data, in order to include partisan independence as a possible outcome of negative retrospective evaluations of governmental performance. Voters who evaluate government performance more negatively have a higher propensity to not identify with any political party. An instrumental probit model shows that, when controlling for the possible inverse causality between partisan independence and a negative assessment of government performance, the latter variable provides the strongest prediction of the lack of partisan identification in comparison with sociological, cultural, modernization and political-institutional variables. A theoretical explanation is offered based on the “principal-agent” model.