Disasters and Incumbent Electoral Fortunes : No Implications for Democratic Competence ∗

  title={Disasters and Incumbent Electoral Fortunes : No Implications for Democratic Competence ∗},
  author={Scott Ashworth and Ethan Bueno de Mesquita},
A recent empirical literature shows that incumbent electoral fortunes suffer following negative events incumbents cannot control. These results have been taken to show that voters are insufficiently rational to competently hold elected officials accountable. Without disputing the empirical findings, we dispute these interpretations. Our argument has two steps. First, we present a formal model that shows irrational voters can actually enhance, rather than diminish, accountability. Rational… CONTINUE READING
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