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Population Characteristics of Voters: Evidence from the Czech Parliamentary Election
Název práce v češtině: Demografické charakteristiky voličů: pozorování z voleb do Poslanecké sněmovny v České republice
Název v anglickém jazyce: Population Characteristics of Voters:
Evidence from the Czech Parliamentary Election
Klíčová slova: volební chování, volební účast, prostorová analýza, parlamentní volby, metoda vážených nejmenších čtverců, prostorový chybový model, Česká republika
Klíčová slova anglicky: voting behaviour, voter turnout, spatial analysis, parliamentary elections, weighted least squares, spatial error model, Czech Republic
Akademický rok vypsání: 2017/2018
Typ práce: bakalářská práce
Jazyk práce: angličtina
Ústav: Institut ekonomických studií (23-IES)
Vedoucí / školitel: doc. Petr Janský, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Řešitel: skrytý - zadáno vedoucím/školitelem
Datum přihlášení: 01.06.2018
Datum zadání: 01.06.2018
Datum a čas obhajoby: 10.06.2019 09:00
Místo konání obhajoby: Opletalova - Opletalova 26, O105, Opletalova - místn. č. 105
Datum odevzdání elektronické podoby:10.05.2019
Datum proběhlé obhajoby: 10.06.2019
Oponenti: Ing. Tomáš Želinský, Ph.D.
 
 
 
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Zásady pro vypracování
Research question and motivation
In my bachelor thesis, I would like to investigate which population characteristics have certain interconnections with results of elections. I want to propose a spectrum of economic, socio-economic and demographic characteristics in order to find a correlation (or possible causality) between these data and results of the Czech Parliamentary election in 2017. I assume that specifically profiled parties have bigger support in regions with a greater share of voters from their target groups, for instance Christian Democrats in regions with greater number of believers and so on.

Analysing the data, I will determine which areas, compared to average, do not perform well in terms of unemployment, income, etc. and these areas I will subsequently analyse in further detail. I will attempt to find out whether a voter turnout in economically or socially excluded areas is lower or not. I assume that inhabitants of regions with worse accessibility to education and less developed services will evince lower voter turnout, because they lack either motivation to vote or awareness of purpose of the elections. Gallego (2010) studies the voting turnout with respect to education and claims that this relationship substantially varies across the countries. Nevertheless, she states that in the Czech Republic there is a large effect of education on voting and this statement I would like to verify.

Another question is whether people in economically or socially excluded areas attempt to somehow revenge through a ballot as Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (2018) suggests in his article. I would like to observe voting behaviour of people and simultaneously find determinants of support of particular parties, especially the extremist ones. Algan, Guriev, Papaioannou and Passari (2017) analyse global rise of extremism and as possible roots they consider unemployment, globalisation and immigration. I suppose that people from regions with higher unemployment and lower-income tend to support the extremists more because they offer more radical solutions to problems in order to attract voters from excluded areas. According to Ezrow, Tavits and Homola (2014), the support of the extremists should be also related to polarization of voters and their attachment to political parties.

Contribution
There are many attempts to evaluate the results of elections and to conclude something about voters, however, analyses for commercial media are usually broad and not sophisticated and on the other hand, among academic articles there are many topics which can be elaborated in further detail or with greater accuracy. In my case, I would like to focus especially on economic characteristics of the population, which are according to Guiso, Herrera, Morelli and Sonno (2017) the most important with respect to the rise of populism in western Europe.

I was inspired by journal article written by Karel Kouba (2007) who performed spatial analysis of voting results of five Parliamentary parties between 1990 and 2006, using aggregated data on district level. I would like work with actual data and provide certain conclusions about contemporary voting patterns in the Czech Republic and therefore I decided to analyse all the parties who nominated any candidates for the Parliamentary elections in 2017. In contrast with year 2007, nowadays it is possible to obtain more detailed data about population which allows me to perform the analysis on municipal level and accomplish much greater accuracy of the results.

Similarly to bachelor thesis of Michal Kotrč (2017) which is concerned with Slovak extremists, I would like to find determinants of support of Czech extremist parties because the Czech political scene may be slightly neglected in terms of these analyses. The results of my work might explain certain part of voting behaviour in different regions and also provide more detailed information about voters of extremist parties. With respect to the fact that authors of academic papers, for instance Michal Kubát (2006), consider Czech Communist Party to be an extremist party, it is a very sensitive topic for former communist country. Furthermore, people often make claims about voters of Czech Communist Party but they do not look for evidence from the results of elections and that is another reason why the structure of this electorate should be studied in detail.

Data
My analysis will be based on voting results from all electoral districts in the Czech Republic but since it is not possible to obtain data about various population characteristics on this level, I want to perform the analysis on municipal level, i.e. using voting results and data from approximately 6250 municipalities in the Czech Republic. The data will be obtained mostly from the website of Czech Statistical Office and possibly on the same or closest possible level.

Methodology
In my bachelor thesis, I would like to look for correlation coefficients between the results of elections and individual population characteristics. Subsequently I will develop an econometric model in order to quantify significance and influence of particular variables, using Ordinary Least Squares method. An explained variable will be the percentage result of a party within a municipality and explanatory variables will be economic, socio-economic and demographic data from the same area. Sample size should be large enough in order to provide relevant information but the explanatory variables must be chosen carefully so that there would not appear any violation of the assumption of OLS estimators.
Seznam odborné literatury
Bibliography:
KOUBA, Karel. Spatial Analysis of the Czech Party System. Institutionalization and Spatial Regimes. Czech Sociological Review. 2007(43), pp. 1017-1037.

EZROW, Lawrence, Margit TAVITS and Jonathan HOMOLA. Voter Polarization, Strength of Partisanship, and Support for Extremist Parties. Comparative Political Studies. 2014(47), pp. 1558-1583.

GALLEGO, Aina. Understanding unequal turnout: education and voting in comparative perspective. Electoral Studies. 2010, 29(2), pp. 239-247.

RODRÍGUEZ-POSE, Andrés. The revenge of the places that don't matter. 2018.

ALGAN, Yann, Sergei GURIEV, Elias PAPAIOANNOU and Evgenia PASSARI. The European Trust Crisis and the Rise of Populism. 2017.

KOTRČ, Michal. The Rise of Extreme Right: Evidence from the Slovak Parliamentary Election. Prague, 2017. Bachelor thesis. Charles University.

GUISO, Luigi, Helios HERRERA, Massimo MORELLI and Tommaso SONNO. The spread of populism in Western countries. 2017.

QUEYRANNE, Maximillien, Jean-Jacque HALLAERT and Irene YACKOVLEV. Inequality and Poverty Across Generations in the European Union: IMF STAFF DISCUSSION NOTE. 2018.

KUBÁT, Michal. Teorie antisystémovosti a Komunistická strana Čech a Moravy. 2007, pp. 548-556.
Předběžná náplň práce
Outline
1) Introduction
2) Literature review
3) Hypotheses
4) Data and methodology
5) Results and discussion
6) Conclusion
7) Bibliography
 
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