Information and Voting: Microfoundations of Accountability in Complex Electoral Environments
This dissertation has two main goals. The first is to test how environments with distinct political, historical and institutional characteristics affect voters ability to obtain information about candidates in legislative elections. In broader terms, this is an exploration of the correlates of learning about politics. More specifically, the emphasis is on how institutional environments condition learning. Second, I investigate how information affects specific vote choices related to holding individual politicians as well as political parties accountable for their performances in office. The emphasis, then, falls on the importance of information in affecting concrete electoral decisions.
Overall, this dissertation is an investigation of the microfoundations of electoral accountability. Accountability is not possible without information. With this in mind, the focus is on how voters learn about candidates during elections and how such information affects electoral choices directly related to holding politicians accountable.
This study focuses on the 2002 Brazilian elections for the Chamber of Deputies mostly, but not exclusively, because Brazil offers great variation in electoral environments. Brazil is also an interesting case because pundits and laymen alike have constantly claimed that corruption and clientelism abound in Brazil. Hence, an exploration of the microfoundations of accountability may shed some light in the roots of such problems.
Advisor:David Barker; Dietlind Stolle; Mitchell A. Seligson; John Markoff; Barry C. Ames
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:10/18/2004