Are You Being Served? Political Accountability and Quality of Government

Alícia Adserà, Carles Boix, Mark Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

451 Scopus citations


How well any government functions hinges on how good citizens are at making their politicians accountable for their actions. Political control of public officials depends on two factors. First, free and regular elections allow citizens to discipline politicians - the credible threat of losing office in the next period compels policy makers to respond to the voters' interests. Second, and equally important, the degree of citizen information curbs the opportunities politicians may have to engage in political corruption and management. The presence of a well-informed electorate in a democratic setting explains between one-half and two-thirds of the variance in the levels of governmental performance and corruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-490
Number of pages46
JournalJournal of Law, Economics, and Organization
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Law


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