Information and electoral accountability

Do more informed voters elect more qualified candidates? Numerous studies of varying scale and context reveal mixed evidence. Evidence appears stronger for structural interventions and mass communication than for more targeted interventions.

Democracy is said to give citizens agency, as elections make it possible for them to remove poorly performing politicians. However, this only works if voters know how politicians are performing and are willing to base their vote on this information. This Growth Brief presents evidence on whether providing voters with better information on candidate performance affects their behaviour and strengthens electoral channels to better politician performance. Surprisingly, the evidence on the effects of information campaigns is very mixed.