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Seniority, Information and Electoral Accountability

  • Rodet, Cortney Stephen

This paper addresses the impact information has on electoral accountability in a legislative system based on seniority using laboratory experiments. A purely rational choice perspective of a simple voting environment implies that information is inconsequential when seniority is exceptionally valuable. Seniority advantage presents the opportunity to shirk at the expense of voters. I contrast the rational choice perspective to behavioral considerations of trust, betrayal and expectations. Voter information about incumbent behavior is varied across experimental treatments, and I find that information leads to accountability when voters can compare their own incumbent’s behavior to the behavior of others. Moreover, information deters incumbent shirking.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/49863/1/MPRA_paper_49863.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 49863.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49863
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  1. McMillan, John & Zoido, Pablo, 2004. "How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru," Research Papers 1851r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  2. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
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  8. Pelligra, Vittorio, 2010. "Trust responsiveness. On the dynamics of fiduciary interactions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 653-660, December.
  9. Abbink, Klaus & Bernd Irlenbusch & Elke Renner, 1997. "The Moonlighting Game - An Experimental Study on Reciprocity and Retribution," Discussion Paper Serie B 415, University of Bonn, Germany.
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  11. Buchanan, James M & Congleton, Roger D, 1994. " The Incumbency Dilemma and Rent Extraction by Legislators," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 47-60, April.
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  16. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "Testing Theories of Fairness - Intentions Matter," IEW - Working Papers 063, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  17. 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.
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