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Party cues in elections under multilevel governance: Theory and evidence from US states

Benny Geys and Jan Vermeir

No SP II 2012-107, Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" from WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Abstract: In federal countries, competence for policy matters is often shared between various levels of government. As only overall outcomes are observed, this might blur accountability by decreasing voters' ability to infer information about the performance of their leaders. In this article, we analyse how party cues (i.e., politicians' party membership acting as a cue towards their characteristics) affect voters' incomplete information about politicians in a federal setting. We first of all show that party cues allow indirect inference regarding politicians using observed policy outcomes, alleviating the accountability problem. Empirical evidence from US presidential election results across all 50 US states over the period 1972-2008 provides support for this proposition. Yet, while the availability of party cues in a federal setting increases the national incumbents' effort in some cases, it may reduce effort particularly when the regional incumbent if of a different party.

Keywords: federalism; accountability; multilevel governance; party cues (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H30 H77 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-cta and nep-pol
Date: 2012
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https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/66212/1/727559494.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: PARTY CUES IN ELECTIONS UNDER MULTILEVEL GOVERNANCE: THEORY AND EVIDENCE FROM US STATES (2014) Downloads
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