Common Knowledge, Relative Performance, and Political Accountability

Research Design
  • Voters are more likely to punish poor performance in the social than in the private information treatment.
  • Voters punish poor-performing politicians more severely when they also receive:
    1. information that comparable incumbents from challenging parties performed better;
    2. information that comparable incumbents from the local incumbent’s party also performed poorly;
    3. the combination of 1 and 2
  • The strength of these results will vary with voter priors and the extent to which voters believe candidates within and between parties are correlated.