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Party Cues In Elections Under Multilevel Governance: Theory And Evidence From Us States

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  • Benny Geys
  • Jan Vermeir

Abstract

In federal countries, voters’ ability to evaluate the performance of their leaders might be reduced when different levels of government shape policy outcomes. This can blur political accountability. In this article, we analyze how party cues (i.e., politicians’ party membership acting as a cue towards their characteristics) affect voters’ incomplete information in a federal setting. We theoretically show that party cues allow indirect inference regarding politicians using observed policy outcomes, and can alleviate the accountability problem. Empirical evidence from US presidential election results across all 50 US states over the period 1972–2008 supports this proposition. However, party cues also have a downside in that they may reduce politicians’ effort, particularly when politicians at different levels of government are from different parties.

Suggested Citation

  • Benny Geys & Jan Vermeir, 2014. "Party Cues In Elections Under Multilevel Governance: Theory And Evidence From Us States," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 1029-1058, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:12:y:2014:i:4:p:1029-1058
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Holm, Joshua, 2016. "A model of redistribution under social identification in heterogeneous federations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 39-48.
    2. Cassette, Aurélie & Farvaque, Etienne, 2016. "A dirty deed done dirt cheap: Reporting the blame of a national reform on local politicians," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 127-144.
    3. Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas & Reischmann, Markus, 2016. "Do politicians reward core supporters? Evidence from a discretionary grant program," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 39-56.
    4. Gianmarco Daniele & Sergio Galletta & Benny Geys, 2017. "Abandon Ship? Party Brands and Politicians' Responses to a Political Scandal," IdEP Economic Papers 1703, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
    5. Estache, Antonio & Garsous, Grégoire & Seroa da Motta, Ronaldo, 2016. "Shared Mandates, Moral Hazard, and Political (Mis)alignment in a Decentralized Economy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 98-110.
    6. Levoshko, Tamila, 2017. ""Pork-Barrel"-Politik und das regionale Wirtschaftswachstum. Empirische Evidenz für die Ukraine und Polen," Working Papers 0642, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    7. Kauder, Björn & Björn, Kauder & Niklas, Potrafke & Markus, Reischmann, 2016. "Do politicians gratify core supporters? Evidence from a discretionary grant program," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145509, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Marta Curto‐Grau & Albert Solé‐Ollé & Pilar Sorribas‐Navarro, 2017. "Does electoral competition curb party favoritism?," Working Papers 2017/04, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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