Brief 59: Metaketa I: Information and Accountability

  1. Study scarcity: Conclusions are sometimes drawn from single, high impact studies.
  2. Study heterogeneity: Differences in interventions and outcomes across studies make it infeasible or unwise to aggregate results.
  3. Selective reporting: Failure to publish null findings makes it hard to learn about policies that do not work.
  • Replication of policy-relevant studies, but also context-specific learning
  • Harmonization, to the extent feasible, of interventions and outcome measures across studies, and 
  • Design and reporting standards, including integrated publication of results, regardless of findings; preregistration of analyses; and third-party data replication. 
Figure 1: Effect of information on vote choice. Estimated change in voter support (in percentage points) for an incumbent after receiving good news (left) or bad news (right) about the politician, compared to receiving no information. Horizontal lines show 95% confidence intervals for the estimated change. In all cases, the differences are close to zero and statistically insignificant.
Figure 2. Effect of information on voter turnout. Estimated change in voter turnout (in percentage points) after receiving good news (left) or bad news (right) about the incumbent politician, compared to receiving no information. Horizontal lines show 95% confidence intervals for the estimated change. The Uganda 1 study finds that voters receiving good news about the incumbent are more likely to turn out to vote in the upcoming election as compared to those receiving no information. In all other cases, the differences are close to zero and statistically insignificant.