National Identity and Responsibility Attributions in Multilevel Contexts

GT 4.11 Diseños experimentales en el análisis del comportamiento y las actitudes políticas

Robert Lineira (University of Edinburgh)
Guillem Rico Camps (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)
Sesión 1
Día: jueves,19 de septiembre de 2013
Hora: 09:00 a 11:30
Lugar: E10SEM9

Using data from an online experiment, this paper explores the causal mechanisms that lead citizens to attribute responsibilities to regional governments in Spain. The idea that citizens use elections to make governments responsible of their policies needs a key assumption: voters make responsible of good and bad outcomes to the government which is constitutionally responsible. However, a huge literature shows, on the one hand, that the complexities of decentralized polities makes it difficult for citizens to know who is responsible for what, and, on the other, that governments use strategically this confusion to avoid the blame or claim the credit for the outcomes in situations of failure and success, respectively. In this experiment we ask citizens about the extent to which the regional government is responsible for the state of the economy, education, and the health services. Our main expectation is that the effect of the valence of the information provided (our treatment) on attributions of responsibility is conditioned by voters' national identity, partisanship, and level of political knowledge, as well as by policy area. 

Palabras clave: Attribution of responsibility, national identity, partisanship, experimental design