Repairing Information Underload

Research Design
  • Information on the comparative quality of public services will influence voting because information is directly linked to voters’ well-being.
  • The subjects will use the provided information when they participate in politics in other ways, including through discussing politicians’ performance, contacting their councillors, and signing petitions in favor of public policy programs.
  • Favorable information about budget audits and public services should increase votes for the incumbent and unfavorable information will increase opposition votes.
  • When budget and public-services audits reveal better than average performance, voters will have a more positive perception of the performance of their elected representatives than when audits reveal lower than average performance.
  • Informational treatments may have less of an effect in locations that already have high-quality incumbents, few budget irregularities, and good public services – which are also likely to be locations that are better governed, have more informed citizens, and have other distinct characteristics – than in locations that do not (Banerjee et al. 2011).