Do Fairer Elections Increase the Responsiveness of Politicians?

  title={Do Fairer Elections Increase the Responsiveness of Politicians?},
  author={George Ofosu},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={963 - 979}
  • George Ofosu
  • Published 2019
  • Political Science
  • American Political Science Review
Leveraging novel experimental designs and 2,160 months of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) spending by legislators in Ghana, I examine whether and how fairer elections promote democratic responsiveness. The results show that incumbents elected from constituencies that were randomly assigned to intensive election-day monitoring during Ghana’s 2012 election spent 19 percentage points more of their CDFs during their terms in office compared with those elected from constituencies with fewer… Expand
Agents of resistance and revival? Local election monitors and democratic fortunes in Asia
ABSTRACT Cultural and political economy theories linking a vibrant civil society to democratic outcomes expect domestic election monitors to provide a vaccine against democratic backsliding. TheExpand
Combining Patronage and Merit in Public Sector Recruitment
When do politicians in developing democracies prioritize meritocratic recruitment over patronage hiring for public sector jobs? I distinguish between menial and professional positions and argue thatExpand
Combining Patronage and Merit in Public Sector Recruitment
When do politicians in developing democracies prioritize meritocratic recruitment over patronage hiring for public sector jobs? I distinguish between low- and high-skilled positions and argue thatExpand
The effect of politician-constituent conflict on bureaucratic responsiveness under varying information frames
Public participation in rulemaking has long been regarded as an integral part of a functioning democracy. It is however unclear how governments and administrations influence the throughput of publicExpand
Pressuring MPs to act: parliament, organized interests and policymaking in Uganda and Tanzania
ABSTRACT What motivates MPs to challenge executive policy priorities? When and why do they support seemingly more “pro-poor” measures? This article presents a novel framework to answer theseExpand
Networks and the Size of the Gender Gap in Politician Performance Across Job Duties∗
The share of women in legislatures has increased dramatically in the past decade. Yet female politicians continue to face barriers that undermine their performance relative to men. We argue thatExpand
Leveraging legislative power: distributive politics and Committee work in Kenya’s National Assembly
How do legislative Committees in emerging democracies spend their time? Committees are organisational devices for expanding valuable legislative time. Existing works posit that Committee work refle...


When do Legislators Pass on Pork? The Role of Political Parties in Determining Legislator Effort
A central challenge in political economy is to identify the conditions under which legislators seek to bring home the pork to constituents. We conduct the first systematic analysis of one determinantExpand
Information Dissemination, Competitive Pressure, and Politician Performance between Elections: A Field Experiment in Uganda
Politicians shirk when their performance is obscure to constituents. We theorize that when politician performance information is disseminated early in the electoral term, politicians willExpand
Competing on Good Politicians
Is electoral competition good for political selection? To address this issue, we introduce a theoretical model where ideological parties select and allocate high-valence (experts) and low-valenceExpand
Non-discretionary resource allocation as political investment: evidence from Ghana
  • J. Asunka
  • Economics
  • The Journal of Modern African Studies
  • 2017
ABSTRACT When would politicians reduce or eliminate their own discretion in the distribution of valued benefits to voters? I argue that the answer lies in the extent of partisan attachments amongExpand
Perceptions of Electoral Fairness and Voter Turnout
Previous research has established a link between turnout and the extent to which voters are faced with a “meaningful” partisan choice in elections; this study extends the logic of this argument toExpand
Evidence from a Field Experiment in Benin
C politics scholars have long considered electoral politics in Africa to be systematically and inherently clientelist. African rulers, whether self-appointed or democratically elected, rely on theExpand
Primaries on Demand? Intra-Party Politics and Nominations in Ghana
In new democracies, why do political party leaders relinquish power over nominations and allow legislative candidates to be selected by primary elections? Where the legislature is weak and politicsExpand
Attribution and Accountability: Voting for Roads in Ghana
Do voters in Africa use elections to hold governments accountable for their performance in office? In contexts of limited information and weak state capacity, it can be difficult for citizens toExpand
Do Elections Matter for Economic Performance?
In mature democracies, elections discipline leaders to deliver good economic performance. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, most developing countries also hold elections, but these are often marredExpand
Electoral Cycle Fluctuations in Partisanship: Global Evidence from Eighty-Six Countries
Elections are defining elements of democracy but occur infrequently. Given that elections evoke mass mobilization, we expect citizen attachments to political parties to wax during election season andExpand