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

Julia A. 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 2017

    Keywords

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

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'When Are Local Incumbents Held Accountable for Government Performance? Evidence from US School Districts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this