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Fact Finding Trips to Italy: An experimental investigation of voter incentives

  • Rodet, Cortney S.

This paper addresses the interaction of voter information and seniority on electoral accountability. We test whether information leads voters to be less tolerant of moral hazard in a legislative system favoring seniority. A simple game theoretic model is used to predict outcomes in a pork-barrel experiment where subjects act as legislators and voters. Senior legislators have an advantage in providing transfers which presents the opportunity to shirk where legislators can enrich themselves at the expense of voters. Voter information about incumbent behavior is varied across experimental treatments. We find that accountability increases when voters can compare their own legislator’s behavior to the behavior of others. Despite the fact that voters succumb to the incentives of seniority, information is effective in deterring legislator shirking.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33193.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33193
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  1. John McMillan & Pablo Zoido, 2004. "How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru," Discussion Papers 03-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:3:p:817-869 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Rodet, Cortney S., 2011. "Voter Behavior and Seniority Advantage in Pork Barrel Politics," MPRA Paper 33192, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Ben Greiner, 2004. "The Online Recruitment System ORSEE 2.0 - A Guide for the Organization of Experiments in Economics," Working Paper Series in Economics 10, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  5. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
  6. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  7. Weingast, Barry R & Marshall, William J, 1988. "The Industrial Organization of Congress; or, Why Legislatures, Like Firms, Are Not Organized as Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 132-63, February.
  8. repec:oup:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:2:p:703-745 is not listed on IDEAS
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