Delegates or Trustees? A Theory of Political Accountability

@article{Fox2009DelegatesOT,
  title={Delegates or Trustees? A Theory of Political Accountability},
  author={J. Fox and K. Shotts},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  year={2009},
  volume={71},
  pages={1225 - 1237}
}
Politicians vary in both their competence and their policy preferences. We show that how voters trade off competence against ideological congruence has key implications for the type of representation incumbents provide. When voters privilege competence, they encourage trustee representation, and when voters emphasize ideological congruence, they encourage delegate representation. Selection on competence is most likely to occur when uncertainty about the policy preferences of politicians is… Expand
Electoral Ambiguity and Political Representation
We introduce a Downsian model in which policy-relevant information is revealed to the elected politician after the election. The electorate benefits from giving the elected politician some discretionExpand
Electoral Accountability: Recent Theoretical and Empirical Work
Competitive elections create a relationship of formal accountability between policy makers and citizens. Recent theoretical work suggests that there are limits on how well this formal accountabilityExpand
An Experiment on Policy Accountability and Institutional Choice
If voters recognize that they lack expertise about policy, then delegating decisions to informed elected officials has the potential to improve public welfare. But if there is a possibility thatExpand
Informed Politicians and Institutional Stability
This dissertation examines two aspects of democratic institutions. The first chapter studies the welfare implications of politicians who assume either the role of delegates or trustees in aExpand
Policy Congruence and Style of Representation: Party Voters and Political Parties
This article focuses on whether styles of representation influence policy congruence. Style of representation is defined at the party level as the proportion of representatives within parties who areExpand
An Experimental Study of Electoral Incentives and Institutional Choice
  • Jonathan Woon
  • Political Science
  • Journal of Experimental Political Science
  • 2014
Abstract I investigate the extent to which reputational incentives affect policy choices in the context of a controlled laboratory experiment. In theory, asymmetric information and outcomeExpand
The lesser evil: Executive accountability with partisan supporters
We develop a model of electoral accountability with primaries. Prior to the general election, the supporters of each of two parties decide which candidates to nominate. We show that supporters sufferExpand
Democratic Accountability and Retrospective Voting: A Laboratory Experiment
Understanding the incentives of politicians requires understanding the nature of voting behavior. I conduct a laboratory experiment to investigate whether voters focus on the problem of electoralExpand
Reputation Effects and Incumbency (Dis)Advantage
We study dynamic models of electoral accountability. Politicians’ policy preferences are their private information, so officeholders act to influence the electorate’s beliefs—i.e., to buildExpand
Public Expectations of State Legislators
When members of Congress neglect the needs of their districts or vote contrary to the wishes of their constituents, their public approval suffers. Does the same hold true for representatives at theExpand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 26 REFERENCES
When Do Elections Encourage Ideological Rigidity?
Elected officials are commonly accused of being ideologically rigid, or failing to alter their positions in response to relevant policy information. We examine this phenomenon with a theory in whichExpand
Government transparency and policymaking
We argue that making lawmakers more accountable to the public by making it easier to identify their policy choices can have negative consequences. Specifically, we analyze a model of political agencyExpand
The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government
We build a simple model to capture the major virtues and drawbacks of making public officials accountable (i.e., subjecting them to reelection): On the one hand, accountablity allows the public toExpand
Polarization and Publicity: Rethinking the Benefits of Deliberative Democracy
Though openness in government has obvious benefits, recent scholarship has devoted less attention to the possibility that it might also have costs. I use a formal framework to investigate the effectExpand
On the Form of Transfers to Special Interests
An important question in political economy concerns the form of transfers to special interests. The Chicago view is that political competition leads politicians to make such transfers efficiently.Expand
Explaining the vote: Constituency constraints on sophisticated voting
It is well documented that legislators' voting decisions are affected by the need to justify these decisions to home constituents. However, exactly how this need influences legislative decisionExpand
Leadership and Pandering: A Theory of Executive Policymaking
We develop an informational theory that analyzes conditions under which a reelection-seeking executive will act in the public interest. The theory considers factors such as executive competence,Expand
Accountability and Local Elections: Rethinking Retrospective Voting
For too long, research on retrospective voting has fixated on how economic trends affect incumbent' electoral prospects in national and state elections. Hundreds of thousands of elections in theExpand
The Decline of Collective Responsibility in American Politics
In the American constitutional system the formal powers of government are sufficiently fragmented that no single official, including the president, is individually responsible for the outcomes ofExpand
Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models
Spatial models of two-party or two-candidatecompetition almost never have pure-strategy Nashequilibria when the issue space has more than onedimension. This paper shows that the introductionExpand
...
1
2
3
...