Visibility and Local Electoral Accountability


Contemporary waves of decentralization and local democratization reforms have placed unprecedented power in the hands of local governments in the developing world. But it remains unclear how citizens use local elections to hold politicians accountable. Using evidence from Brazil, I show that proximity only provides voters access to information about visible actions and outcomes, which leads voters to reward incumbents for visible actions, such as infrastructure projects and capital purchases, rather than actions that align with their stated preferences, including spending on health care and education.

Work-in-progress sessions are designed to generate in-depth discussion of new scholarly work. For the pre-circulated paper and to attend, register with

Speakers / Related People
Peter Johannessen

Peter Johannessen (PhD, Princeton University), a 2017–18 Kellogg visiting fellow, is a political scientist who studies decentralization and the political economy of development with a regional focus on Latin America. His research draws on evidence from Brazil to explore how popular participation shapes the local policymaking process in developing countries...
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Upcoming Events


February 21
Lynching and the Politics of State Formation in POst-Revolutionary Puebla (1930-1950)
Working Groups, Peace, Conflict, Crime & Violence Workshop
Gema Santamaría


February 22
The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi?
Francisco Goldman


February 23 to February 24
2018 Human Development Conference
Conferences/Workshops, Undergraduate Programs
Abigail Midlige, Tommy Emmet
February 23
The Curious Case of Political Liberalization: A Step to Democratization or an Authoritarian Survival Strategy?
Working Groups, Comparative Politics Workshop
M. Tahir Kilavuz