Following the Ticker

The Political Origins and Consequences of Stock Market Perceptions

By Ian G. Anson

Subjects: Political Psychology, American Politics, Mass Media, Political Communication, Economy And Society
Hardcover : 9781438492292, 274 pages, March 2023
Paperback : 9781438492308, 274 pages, September 2023

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Illustrations

1. Data-Driven Agenda Setting: How Stock Market Indicators Shape Citizen Perceptions

2. “Following the Ticker”: Media Agenda Setting and Stock Market Data

3. Grappling with Bulls and Bears: How Congress Discusses the Economy

4. The Politicization of Stock Market Perceptions

5. Framing the Stock Market: Experimental Evidence

Works Cited

Traces the influence of the stock market on Americans' beliefs about politics.


Drawing on a wide variety of empirical methodologies, including large-scale survey analysis, survey experiments, and content analyses, Following the Ticker explores the complex relationship between stock market performance and political judgments through distinctive patterns of coverage in American news media. Building an eclectic theory that explores the interplay between media agenda-setting and partisan motivated reasoning, author Ian G. Anson helps to explain why the stock market increasingly occupies the minds of Americans when they evaluate the performance of incumbent presidents. In doing so, Following the Ticker contributes to a growing literature exploring the links between public opinion and economic inequality in American society. Because "the stock market is not the economy," the increasing salience of the stock market as a source of political judgments reflects a worrying development for classic models of democratic accountability.

Ian G. Anson is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


"Every day, we're surrounded by news about the stock market. In this important book, Ian Anson examines what the growing importance of the stock market as an economic indicator, and the media's sustained focus on it, means for American politics. Focusing on the elite discourse around stock market indicators, media coverage of the stock market, and its effects on public opinion, Anson paints an important picture of how Americans perceive 'the economy' and how partisan motivated reasoning impacts these perceptions. One of the key insights of political behavior research of the past several decades has been that the economy matters for political decisions. This book helps us better understand how the perceptions of the economy are changing and how exactly they matter for our politics." — Dominik Stecula, coauthor of We Need to Talk: How Cross-Party Dialogue Reduces Affective Polarization