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QoG lunch seminar with Eleanor Woodhouse

Research profile seminar

The QoG Institute regularly organizes seminars related to research on Quality of Government. The seminars address the theoretical and empirical problem of how political institutions of high quality can be created and maintained as well as the effects of Quality of Government on a number of policy areas, such as health, the environment, social policy, and poverty.

Speakers are invited from the international research community and experts from NGOs and other organizations to the lunch seminars. The seminars last for one hour and include a short presentation by the speaker (30-35 min) followed by a joint discussion about the topic.

If nothing else is indicated, the seminars are held in English.

Title of seminar:
"Electoral Accountability, Public Officials' Behaviour and Democratic Legitimacy"

Abstract:
"The difference between how democracies work in theory and in practice is at the heart of the discipline of public administration. Improving knowledge regarding how to produce predictable, regular outcomes in democratic governance is a fundamental objective of the public administration scholar. However, surprisingly little is known about how established democracies can develop pathologies even after many years of democratic rule. I approach the question by analysing a case of dysfunction in an established democracy. Using novel data on a political scandal in Italy and a Difference-in-Differences estimation strategy, I provide evidence that a sudden increase in electoral accountability for national deputies impacts negatively upon the behaviour of local -level public officials. In treated districts, where deputies are accused of malfeasance, local level bureaucratic corruption increases significantly as compared to non-treated districts. This situation was made possible, I argue, by a de facto system of political appointments in the bureaucracy. My results show that, in a dysfunctional democracy, an accountability-enhancing phenomenon can trigger a series of mechanisms within the political machine that lead to overall welfare-decreasing outcomes enacted through the bureaucracy. This has implications for how democracies and their bureaucracies are designed."

Lecturer: Eleanor Woodhouse, Max Weber postdoc, European University Institute (EUI).

Date: 11/13/2019

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Categories: Social Sciences

Organizer: The Quality of Government Institute

Location: Stora Skansen (B336)

Contact person: Alice Johansson

Page Manager: Alice Johansson|Last update: 9/3/2019
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