Policy Responsiveness and Electoral Incentives: A (Re)assessment

Bernardi, L ORCID: 0000-0001-5875-9990
(2020) Policy Responsiveness and Electoral Incentives: A (Re)assessment. Political Behavior, 42. 165 - 188.

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Competitive democratic theory predicts that electoral factors enhance policy makers' responsiveness to public opinion. Yet findings on the effects of electoral incentives on policy responsiveness point in different directions and comparative research remains limited, lacking of a systematic evaluation. We draw on previous work, expand the range of electoral incentives, and re-assess their role in influencing policy responsiveness by using spending preferences. We provide extensive tests of an Electoral Vulnerability Hypothesis and an Electoral Proximity Hypothesis. Contra competitive democratic theory, time-series analysis from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States in twenty policy domains and nine different indicators for electoral incentives finds limited support for these hypotheses. Our findings have implications for democracy and question the importance of electoral pressures in explaining policy responsiveness.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Policy responsiveness, Electoral pressures, Spending, Public preferences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2019 13:22
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2022 19:11
DOI: 10.1007/s11109-018-9490-4
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3053999