When Are Local Incumbents Held Accountable for Government Performance? Evidence from US School Districts

Julia Payson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Do voters hold local officials accountable for government performance? Using over a decade of panel data on school district elections and academic achievement in California, I causally identify the effect of test score changes on school board incumbent re-election rates and show that incumbents are more likely to win re-election when test scores improve in their districts—but only in presidential election years. This effect disappears in midterm and off-years, indicating that election timing might facilitate local government accountability.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)421-448
    Number of pages28
    JournalLegislative Studies Quarterly
    Volume42
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

    Fingerprint

    election
    district
    school
    performance
    evidence
    presidential election
    academic achievement
    responsibility

    Keywords

    • academic performance
    • election timing
    • government accountability
    • panel data
    • school board elections

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    When Are Local Incumbents Held Accountable for Government Performance? Evidence from US School Districts. / Payson, Julia.

    In: Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 3, 01.08.2017, p. 421-448.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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