2008 Volume 59 Issue 1 Pages 1_283-1_305
This paper examines how and how much the levels of political knowledge affect voting behavior in Japan. By adding interaction terms of political knowledge scale and other independent variables to the baseline logit model, the analysis demonstrates that the impact of party evaluation, issue attitudes, and pocketbook evaluation is conditioned by the levels of political knowledge. That is, the effect of party evaluation on voting behavior is significantly stronger among politically knowledgeable voters; political unawareness prevents voters from connecting their issue attitudes with voting decision; the politically less well-informed tend to rely on retrospective pocketbook evaluation when they vote. These findings suggest that taking account of the conditioning effect of political knowledge is critical to make sense of Japanese voting behavior.