Markus Steinbrecher, Harald Schoen
Heterogeneous campaign effects in the German multi-party system? An empirical test of consideration set models

Paper prepared for delivery at the 9th ECPR General Conference
43 S.
Université de Montréal

Consideration set modeling builds on the notion that voters in multi-party systems make electoral decisions in multiple stages. Temporal heterogeneity implies some kind of path dependency in electoral decision-making. Accordingly, a voter’s responsiveness to specific campaign efforts during a campaign may depend on his decision at previous stages of this process. Provided this hypothesis is correct, consideration set modeling is a powerful tool in addressing unobserved heterogeneity in traditional models of voting behavior in multi-party systems. In the proposed paper, we discuss the analysis of campaign effects in multi-party systems and identify potential problems resulting from unobserved heterogeneity in traditional models. Next, we discuss whether consideration set modeling might be a means to overcome these problems. Finally, we examine the utility of consideration set modeling in addressing issues resulting from heterogeneous campaign effects using data from the campaign panel component of the 2013 German Longitudinal Election Study.