Executive Accountability Beyond Outcomes: Experimental Evidence on Public Evaluations of Powerful Prime Ministers

Becher, Michael and Brouard, Sylvain (2019) Executive Accountability Beyond Outcomes: Experimental Evidence on Public Evaluations of Powerful Prime Ministers. IAST working paper, n. 19-98, Toulouse

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Abstract

While executives in many democracies have constitutional powers to circumvent the
majoritarian legislative process to make policy, political scientists know relatively little
about whether and when ordinary people hold executives accountable for the process
they use. To study this issue beyond the American presidency, we conduct three large
survey experiments in France, where the institution of the confidence procedure puts the
government in a strong position relative to parliament. Our experiments highlight that
public evaluations of the executive reflect a fundamental trade-off between policy and
process. If they face significant opposition in the legislative process, executives either
have to accept policy failure or risk punishment for the use of procedural force. People
dislike both results, and the average popularity gain of using the confidence procedure
over not delivering the policy is modest. Moreover, in some contexts executives are
strictly better off not legislating rather than applying force.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: April 2019
Place of Publication: Toulouse
Subjects: B- ECONOMIE ET FINANCE
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Institution: Université Toulouse 1 Capitole
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2019 09:46
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2019 09:46
OAI ID: oai:tse-fr.eu:122915
URI: http://publications.ut-capitole.fr/id/eprint/32347

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