Economic Crises, Subjective Well-Being, and Vote Switching: The Case of Brazil’s 2018 Presidential Election

Martijn J. Burger*, Martijn Hendriks, Elena I. Ianchovichina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the influence of the 2015 economic crisis on subjective well-being (SWB) and the withdrawal of support for the incumbent party during the 2018 presidential election in Brazil. Using Gallup World Poll data and a post-election national survey conducted by the Center for Studies on Public Opinion, we find that the economic crisis influenced through different channels both SWB and vote switching. Worsening personal economic circumstances explain the decline in SWB in the aftermath of the crisis, while deteriorating perceptions about the economy explain the vote switching during the presidential election in 2018. Leadership disapproval played a role in both, but to different degrees. One possible explanation for the limited effect of personal economic circumstances on voting behavior in Brazil is that those who were most severely affected by the economic downturn, specifically the poorest individuals in the country, did not see voting for Bolsonaro as a feasible or desirable choice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2831-2853
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Volume24
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

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