Accountability and Local Elections: Rethinking Retrospective Voting
For too long, research on retrospective voting has fixated on how economic trends affect incumbents' electoral prospects in national and state elections. Hundreds of thousands of elections in the United States occur at the local level and have little to do with unemployment or inflation rates. This paper focuses on the most prevalent: school boards. Specifically, it examines whether voters hold school board members accountable for the performance of their schools. The 2000 elections reveal considerable evidence that voters evaluate school board members on the basis of student learning trends. During the 2002 and 2004 school board elections, however, when media (and by extension public) attention to testing and accountability systems drifted, measures of achievement did not influence incumbents' electoral fortunes. These findings, we suggest, raise important questions about both the scope conditions of retrospective voting models and the information voters rely upon when evaluating incumbents.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1155 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637|
Web page: http://harrisschool.uchicago.edu/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:0706. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Eleanor Cartelli)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.