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Postmaterialist and Economic Voting in Australia, 1990-98

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 12:49 authored by Western, M, Bruce TranterBruce Tranter
Recent research in Australian sociology and political science has debated the extent to which postmaterialist values and economic self-interest shape voting in federal elections. Some researchers have argued that postmaterialist values have partly displaced materialist concerns with physical security and economic well-being in Australian public life. This displacement, coupled with the adoption by major political parties of postmaterialist 'quality of life' issues such as the environment, has meant that voting in Australia has come to be more dependent on postmaterialist values than on perceptions of economic interest. Other research, however, has found no relationship between postmaterialist values and voting behaviour, while economic evaluations remain a strong determinant of voting behaviour. Part of the disagreement reflects methodological differences in the research. But different methodological problems compromise each of the previous studies. In this paper we use data from the 1990, 1993, 1996 and 1998 Australian Election Studies to investigate postmaterialist and economic voting in the Commonwealth House of Representatives and the Senate. Using various statistical methods, we first explore bivariate relationships between key variables and then use multivariate models of postmaterialist and economic voting to adjudicate between the contending positions.


Publication title

Australian Journal of Political Science








School of Social Sciences


Carfax Publishing Limited

Place of publication

Oxon, UK

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Government and politics not elsewhere classified

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