Economics or History: Preferences of Croatian Voters in the 2016 Parliamentary Elections

Vinko Zaninović, Ivan Mužić

Abstract


The aim of this paper is to investigate the determinants of
election victory in the Republic of Croatia. The main
hypothesis of the paper is that in the Republic of Croatia the
events of the 1990s, i.e., the Homeland War, had a stronger
impact on the winners of the parliamentary elections in terms
of the economic performance of the local self-government
units (LSGs). Due to the availability of data, we focus on the
2016 parliamentary elections, and we model the victory of
the two leading parties in Croatia – the Croatian Democratic
Union (HDZ) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) – at the
level of LSG. We develop a logistic regression model with the
variable "election victory" at the LSG level as a dependent
variable explained by the following variables: economic
development at the LSG level, Homeland War covered LSGs,
transparency of LSG budgets, election turnout, and
government budget support to the LSGs. The results show
that certain commonly accepted opinions, such as that voters
in more economically developed LSGs vote more for the SDP
on average, and that voters in war-affected LSGs vote more
for the HDZ on average, have empirical confirmation.

Keywords


parliamentary elections; local self-government units; determinants of election results

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