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Policing Politicians: Citizen Empowerment and Political Accountability in Uganda

By: Macartan Humphreys, Jeremy Weinstein

Does greater transparency improve political accountability? In this paper, we use a simple model of political accountability to derive a set of hypotheses linking information to political behavior; we introduce a multilevel field experiment designed to test these hypotheses in the context of MP behavior in Uganda; and we provide first findings from a survey experiment designed to assess the responsiveness of voters to information on MP behavior and from a pre-intervention experiment designed to search for early evidence on the effects of information on parliamentary activity. We find very strong evidence that Ugandan voters are responsive to information on politician behavior but only weak evidence that politicians are responsive to these concerns.