Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Conditional Accountability for the Economy, Insecurity, and Corruption Across Latin American Party Systems

  • Matthew M. Singer (a1)

Abstract

The association between how citizens perceive economic performance, insecurity, or corruption and how they evaluate the president varies systematically across Latin American countries and within them over time. In particular, while presidential popularity reflects these outcomes in the average Latin American country, survey data from 2006–17 confirm that the connection between government performance and presidential approval is generally stronger when unfragmented party systems or single-party majority governments make assessments of political responsibility easier. While these results suggest that the region’s citizens do not blindly blame the president for outcomes where political responsibility should be shared, they also remind us that there are many countries in the region where fragmented party systems weaken the conditions for effective political accountability.

Copyright

Footnotes

Hide All

Conflict of interest: I, Matthew M. Singer, declare none.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
Achen, Chris, and Bartels, Larry. 2016. Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Albrecht, Fredericke. 2017. Government Accountability and Natural Disasters: The Impact of Natural Hazard Events on Political Trust and Satisfaction with Governments in Europe. Risk Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy 8, 4: 381410.
Alcañiz, Isabela, and Hellwig, Timothy. 2011. Who’s to Blame? The Distribution of Responsibility in Developing Democracies. British Journal of Political Science 41, 2: 389411.
Alemán, Eduardo, and Navia, Patricio. 2009. Institutions and the Legislative Success of “Strong” Presidents: An Analysis of Government Bills in Chile. Journal of Legislative Studies 15, 4: 401–19.
Anderson, Cameron. 2006. Economic Voting and Multilevel Governance: A Comparative Individual-Level Analysis. American Journal of Political Science 50, 2: 449–63.
Anderson, Christopher. 2000. Economic Voting and Political Context: A Comparative Perspective. Electoral Studies 19: 151–70.
Bengtsson, Asa. 2004. Economic Voting: The Effect of Political Context, Volatility and Turnout on Voters’ Assignment of Responsibility. European Journal of Political Research 43, 5: 449–67.
Brace, Paul, and Hinckley, Barbara. 1992. Follow the Leader: Opinion Polls and the Modern President. New York: Basic Books.
Calvo, Ernesto. 2007. The Responsive Legislature: Public Opinion and Law Making in a Highly Disciplined Legislature. British Journal of Political Science 37, 2: 263–80.
Camerlo, Marcelo, and Martínez-Gallardo, Cecilia. 2017. Government Formation and Minister Turnover in Presidential Cabinets: Comparative Analysis in the Americas. New York: Routledge.
Campello, Daniela, and Zucco, Cesar. 2016. Presidential Success and the World Economy. Journal of Politics 78, 2: 589602.
Carlin, Ryan, and Hellwig, Timothy. 2019. Policy Regimes and Economic Accountability in Latin America. Comparative Political Studies 52, 13–14: 2032–60.
Carlin, Ryan, and Singh, Shane. 2015. Executive Power and Economic Accountability. Journal of Politics 77, 4: 1031–44.
Carlin, Ryan, Singer, Matthew, and Zechmeister, Elizabeth. 2015. The Latin American Voter: Pursuing Representation and Accountability in Challenging Contexts. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Carreras, Miguel, and Visconti, Giancarlo. n.d. Who Pays for Crime? Criminal Violence and Accountability in Latin America. Unpublished manuscript.
Chappell, Henry, and Gonçalves Veiga, Linda. 2000. Economics and Elections in Western Europe: 1960–1997. Electoral Studies 19, 2–3: 183–97.
Corrales, Javier. 2018. Fixing Democracy: How Power Asymmetries Help Explain Presidential Powers in New Constitutions: Evidence from Latin America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Costa Lobo, Marina, and Lewis-Beck, Michael. 2012. The Integration Hypothesis: How the European Union Shapes Economic Voting. Electoral Studies 31, 3: 522–28.
Cox, Gary, and Morgenstern, Scott. 2001. Latin America’s Reactive Assemblies and Proactive Presidents. Comparative Politics 33, 2: 171–89.
Dassonneville, Ruth, and Lewis-Beck, Michael. 2017. Rules, Institutions and the Economic Vote: Clarifying Clarity of Responsibility. West European Politics 40, 3: 534–59.
Duch, Raymond, and Stevenson, Randolph. 2008. The Economic Vote: How Political and Economic Institutions Condition Election Results. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Echegaray, Fabián. 2005. Economic Crises and Electoral Responses in Latin America. New York: University Press of America.
Ecker, Alejandro, Glinitzer, Konstantin, and Meyer, Thomas. 2016. Corruption Performance Voting and the Electoral Context. European Political Science Review 8, 3: 333–54.
Elgie, Robert. 2017. Political Leadership: A Pragmatic Institutionalist Approach. London: Springer.
Evans, Geoffrey, and Andersen, Robert. 2006. The Political Conditioning of Economic Perceptions. Journal of Politics 68, 1: 194207.
Fiorina, Morris. 1981. Retrospective Voting in American National Elections. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Gasper, John, and Reeves, Andrew. 2011. Make It Rain? Retrospection and the Attentive Electorate in the Context of Natural Disasters. American Journal of Political Science 55, 2: 340–55.
Gélineau, François, and Remmer, Karen. 2006. Political Decentralization and Electoral Accountability: The Argentine Experience, 1983–2001. British Journal of Political Science 36 (January): 133–57.
Gélineau, François, and Singer, Matthew. 2015. The Economy and Incumbent Support in Latin America. In Carlin et al. 2015. 281–99.
Gomez, Brad T., and Wilson, J. Matthew. 2006. Cognitive Heterogeneity and Economic Voting: A Comparative Analysis of Four Democratic Electorates. American Journal of Political Science 50, 1: 127–45.
Hayes, Rosa, Imai, Masami, and Shelton, Cameron. 2015. Attribution Error in Economic Voting: Evidence from Trade Shocks. Economic Inquiry 53, 1: 258–75.
Hellwig, Timothy. 2014. Retaining the Room to Maneuver: Globalization and Mass Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Hellwig, Timothy, and Samuels, David. 2008. Electoral Accountability and the Variety of Democratic Regimes. British Journal of Political Science 38, 1: 6590.
Hobolt, Sara, and Tilley, James. 2014. Blaming Europe: Responsibility Without Accountability in the European Union. New York: Oxford University Press.
Hobolt, Sara, Tilley, James, and Banducci, Susan. 2013. Clarity of Responsibility: How Government Cohesion Conditions Performance Voting. European Journal of Political Research 52, 2: 164–87.
Huber, Gregory, Hill, Seth, and Lenz, Gabriel. 2012. Sources of Bias in Retrospective Decision Making: Experimental Evidence on Voters’ Limitations in Controlling Incumbents. American Political Science Review 106, 4: 720–41.
Johnson, Gregg, and Schwindt-Bayer, Leslie. 2009. Economic Accountability in Central America. Journal of Politics in Latin America 1: 3356.
Kramer, Gerald. 1983. The Ecological Fallacy Revisited: Aggregate-versus Individual-level Findings on Economics and Elections, and Sociotropic Voting. American Political Science Review 77, 1: 92111.
Ley, Sandra. 2017. Electoral Accountability in the Midst of Criminal Violence: Evidence from Mexico. Latin American Politics and Society 59, 1: 327.
Maeda, Ko. 2010. Divided We Fall: Opposition Fragmentation and the Electoral Fortunes of Governing Parties. British Journal of Political Science 40, 2: 419–34.
Manzetti, Luigi, and Rosas, Guillermo. 2015. Corruption and the Latin American Voter. In Carlin et al. 2015. 300–323.
Marsh, Michael, and Tilley, James. 2010. The Attribution of Credit and Blame to Governments and Its Impact on Vote Choice. British Journal of Political Science 40, 1: 11534.
Martínez-Gallardo, Cecilia. 2014. Designing Cabinets: Presidential Politics and Cabinet Instability in Latin America. Journal of Politics in Latin America 6, 2: 338.
Murillo, M. Victoria, and Visconti, Giancarlo. 2017. Economic Performance and Incumbents’ Support in Latin America. Electoral Studies 45 (February): 180–90.
Nadeau, Richard, and Lewis-Beck, Michael. 2001. National Economic Voting in US Presidential Elections. Journal of Politics 63, 1: 159–81.
Nadeau, Richard, Niemi, Richard, and Yoshinaka, Antoine. 2002. A Cross-National Analysis of Economic Voting: Taking Account of the Political Context Across Time and Nations. Electoral Studies 21, 3: 403–23.
Nadeau, Richard, Bélanger, Eric, Lewis-Beck, Michael, Turgeon, Matthieu, and Gélineau, François. 2017. Latin American Elections: Choice and Change. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Norpoth, Helmut. 2001. Divided Government and Economic Voting. Journal of Politics 63, 2: 414–35.
O’Donnell, Guillermo. 1994. Delegative Democracy. Journal of Democracy 5, 1: 5569.
Pérez, Orlando. 2015. The Impact of Crime on Voter Choice in Latin America. In Carlin et al. 2015. 324–43.
Powell, G. Bingham, and Whitten, Guy. 1993. A Cross-National Analysis of Economic Voting: Taking Account of the Political Context. American Journal of Political Science 37, 4: 391414.
Remmer, Karen. 2014. Exogenous Shocks and Democratic Accountability: Evidence from the Caribbean. Comparative Political Science 47, 8: 1158–85.
Rose-Ackerman, Susan, Desierto, Diane, and Volosin, Natalia. 2011. Hyper-Presidentialism: Separation of Powers Without Checks and Balances in Argentina and Philippines. Berkeley Journal of International Law 29, 1: 246333.
Royed, Terry, Leyden, Kevin, and Borrelli, Stephen. 2000. Is “Clarity of Responsibility” Important for Economic Voting? Revisiting Powell and Whitten’s Hypothesis. British Journal of Political Science 30, 4: 669–98.
Rudolph, Thomas. 2003. Who’s Responsible for the Economy? The Formation and Consequences of Responsibility Attributions. American Journal of Political Science 47, 4: 698713.
Samuels, David. 2004. Presidentialism and Accountability for the Economy in Comparative Perspective. American Political Science Review 98: 425–36.
Schwindt-Bayer, Leslie, and Tavits, Margit. 2016. Clarity of Responsibility, Accountability, and Corruption. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Silva, Thiago, and Whitten, Guy. 2017. Clarity of Responsibility and Vote Choice. In The Sage Handbook of Electoral Behaviour, ed. Arzheimer, Kai, Evans, Jocelyn, and Lewis-Beck, Michael. London: Sage. 8091.
Singer, Matthew. 2011. Who Says “It’s the Economy?” Cross-National and Cross-Individual Variation in the Salience of Economic Performance. Comparative Political Studies 44: 284312.
Singer, Matthew. 2018. Delegating Away Democracy: How Good Representation and Policy Successes Can Undermine Democratic Legitimacy. Comparative Political Studies 51, 13: 1754–88.
Singer, Matthew, and Carlin, Ryan. 2013. Context Counts: The Election Cycle, Development, and the Nature of Economic Voting. Journal of Politics 75: 730–42.
Singh, Shane. 2010. Contextual Influences on the Decision Calculus: A Cross-National Examination of Proximity Voting. Electoral Studies 29, 3: 425–34.
Stegmaier, Mary, Lewis-Beck, Michael, and Park, Beomseob. 2017. The VP-Function: A Review. In The SAGE Handbook of Electoral Behaviour, ed. Arzheimer, Kai, Evans, Jocelyn, and Lewis-Beck. London: Sage. 584605.
Tavits, Margit. 2007. Clarity of Responsibility and Corruption. American Journal of Political Science 51, 1: 218–29.
Valdini, Melody, and Lewis-Beck, Michael. 2018. Economic Voting in Latin America: Rules and Responsibility. American Journal of Political Science 62, 2: 410–23.
Wiesehomeier, Nina, and Benoit, Kenneth. 2009. Presidents, Parties, and Policy Competition. Journal of Politics 71, 4: 1435–47.
Xezonakis, Georgios, Kosmidis, Spyros, and Dahlberg, Stefan. 2016. Can Electors Combat Corruption? Institutional Arrangements and Citizen Behavior. European Journal of Political Research 55, 1: 160–76.
Zechmeister, Elizabeth. 2015. Left-Right Identifications and the Latin American Voter. In Carlin et al. 2015. 195225.

Keywords

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Singer supplementary material
Web appendix

 PDF (305 KB)
305 KB

Conditional Accountability for the Economy, Insecurity, and Corruption Across Latin American Party Systems

  • Matthew M. Singer (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.