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Preferences, problems and representation

Preferences, problems and representation
Preferences, problems and representation
Scholars studying opinion representation often rely on a survey question that asks about the “most important problem” (MIP) facing the nation. While we know that MIP responses do reflect public priorities, less is known about their connection to policy preferences. This paper directly addresses the issue. First, it conceptualizes policy preferences and MIP responses, specifically considering the possibility that the latter may be either policy- or outcome-based. Second, using aggregate-level data from the US and the UK, it then examines the correspondence between public spending preferences and MIP responses over time. Results indicate that MIP responses and spending preferences tap very different things and that using MIP responses substantially understates the representational relationship between public opinion and policy.
659-681
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Wlezien, Christopher
e5c172ce-90fc-4bb3-989f-f11e4acb7e53
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Wlezien, Christopher
e5c172ce-90fc-4bb3-989f-f11e4acb7e53

Jennings, Will and Wlezien, Christopher (2015) Preferences, problems and representation. Political Science Research Methods, 3 (3), 659-681. (doi:10.1017/psrm.2015.3).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Scholars studying opinion representation often rely on a survey question that asks about the “most important problem” (MIP) facing the nation. While we know that MIP responses do reflect public priorities, less is known about their connection to policy preferences. This paper directly addresses the issue. First, it conceptualizes policy preferences and MIP responses, specifically considering the possibility that the latter may be either policy- or outcome-based. Second, using aggregate-level data from the US and the UK, it then examines the correspondence between public spending preferences and MIP responses over time. Results indicate that MIP responses and spending preferences tap very different things and that using MIP responses substantially understates the representational relationship between public opinion and policy.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 3 February 2015
Published date: 20 March 2015
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374060
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374060
PURE UUID: dba75e33-8e4f-426f-a498-8801603b10b8
ORCID for Will Jennings: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9007-8896

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Feb 2015 09:43
Last modified: 12 Dec 2021 03:53

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Contributors

Author: Will Jennings ORCID iD
Author: Christopher Wlezien

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