Delegates or Trustees? A Theory of Political Accountability

  title={Delegates or Trustees? A Theory of Political Accountability},
  author={Justin Fox and Kenneth W. Shotts},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  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… 

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