2020

Climate and Electoral Participation

Does the weather affect elections? How will the weather affect voter participation? This study aims to examine the relationship between weather and elections, especially voting participation. Changes in the climatic environment are factors that have significant influences on collective human behaviors. We expect that the weather on election day, such as precipitation, temperature, and particulate matter, will lead to a systematic change in voter turnout. The empirical results show that the various factors of weather-precipitation, temperature, particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5)—have an effect on the voter turnout. In particular, in election politics of South Korea, precipitation and temperature significantly impede voting participation, but the level of air pollution, which appeared as particulate matter, is different depending on the type of election (the National Assembly elections, presidential elections). At the same time, the results of analyzing the effect of the level of particulate matter on the voter turnout suggest that institutional designs can mitigate the effect of climate on external activities in terms of voting. If voters can vote regardless of the climate of the day of the election, it would be possible to counteract the adverse effects of bad weather on voter turnout.

2017

Dictatorships and Redistribution

The aim of this study is to examine variance of redistribution in dictatorships and their systematic patterns. Unlike the previous researches, this study argues that the redistribution is displayed differently depending on the nature of the political institutions, which can restrict the decision of the dictator. It is expected that it would have a consistent and systematic impact on the policy choices by carrying out the role of the intermediary between the rulers and the ruled. To explore the effect of varieties of dictatorships on redistribution on the institutional level, about 89 dictatorships between 1986 and 2011 in the world are examined as a cross-national time-series data. As a result, the least redistributive dictatorship subtype is monarch and the most redistributive one is military. One-party dictatorship is less distributive than multi-party one. As a consequence, the models containing control variables under some conditions explain the systematic patterns of redistribution in dictatorships as well. Moreover, the systematic patterns mean that the policy choices of dictatorships are not contingent but intentional. Also, these results show the limits of previous political economic theories that are not sufficient to explain the dynamics of dictatorships.

Class Betrayal Voting and Political Knowledge in the 20th Korean General Election

This paper examines empirically if class-based voting behavior exists among Korean voters and if class-based voting is conditioned on their level of political knowledge. In other words, we focus here on the interaction effect between voters' class and their level of political knowledge on their vote choices. In addition, as we test these empirical questions, we employ alternative measure of class that incorporating both index of monthly income and assets whereas most of previous researches estimate it only with income data. Empirical finding shows that voters who have higher level of political knowledge tend to do class betrayal voting'. The higher class voters have tendency to vote for the Minjoo party if they have higher level of political knowledge. However, the voting results of the lower class show that they vote for Saenuri party as they have higher level of political knowledge. This result presents the significant effects that the political knowledge has on the relationship between class and voting behavior in the 20th National Assembly Election. In conclusion, this paper has implications that the class voting should be discussed both on the aspect of supply and demand of politics, voter’s political knowledge and class representing party.

2016

Determinants of Voting Choice in Brexit Referendum

This paper aims to explain why some british voters choose to exit from the European Union. Focusing on opportunities and threats presented by the integration of European labour market, we examine the reason behind remain' and exit' choices of British voters from the European Union. We argue that skill level of individuals matters since european labor market integration provides different incentive structure to laborers. European labor market integration pushes low-skilled laborers to harsher job competition with those of other EU member countries. Because inflow of low-skilled laborers to more affluent countries consists of those who are from the less developed countries, laborers with the lowest skill level living in affluent countries such as the UK face threats from the european integration. Using International Social Survey Programme 2013 module National Identity, we find that the lowest skill level has significant impact on voting choice: whether remain or exit from EU. This result of statistical analysis implies that some voters in the UK voted for exit because they believed that they don’t benefit from european integration, not because they are too ignorant or poorly educated to support european integration—exit voters are rational rather than ignorant.

2015

Welfare Expenditure and Economic Growth

This paper evaluates why authoritarian regimes design social policies to provide the welfare. Social welfare policies are coordinated outcomes that link the political and economic realms together. Despite a rich literature on this topic in industrialized democracies, little research has investigated the mechanisms in authoritarian regimes. I argue that the limited focus on welfare provision in democracies stems from several flawed assumptions about the ability of modern autocracies to create similar programs and the mechanisms behind it. Although autocrats are more autonomous decision makers than democratic leaders, they rarely rule alone. As such, social policies in authoritarian regimes are driven by the autocrats’ need to create stable ruling coalitions. The welfare provided in authoritarian regimes should differ depending on the groups on which the autocrat depends for support. The ability to effectively decommodify welfare and provide assistance should also vary based on regime characteristics and resource availability. I examine this using data on authoritarian regimes and social policies over the period 1917 to 2000, showing that authoritarian welfare provision depends on the ruling coalition in place.