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Political accountability and the room to maneuver: a search for a causal chain

Sattler, Thomas, Freeman, John R. and Brandt, Patrick T. (2008) Political accountability and the room to maneuver: a search for a causal chain. Comparative Political Studies, 41 (9). pp. 1212-1239. ISSN 0010-4140

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0010414007303418


Many studies of the room to maneuver make no provision for popular evaluation of policy. They assert rather than demonstrate popular satisfaction with policy choices and macroeconomic outcomes. The authors present a framework that explicitly models channels for popular preferences to influence policies and outcomes. Results for economic policy making in Britain do not support the room to maneuver thesis. In the authors' sample (1981 to 1997), the British government was responsive to changes in political evaluations, and its policy choices effectively fed back into popular evaluations of government policy. However, this accountability mechanism worked outside the real economy. Shifts in popular evaluations induced changes in policy but had no impact on inflation and economic growth. Government capacity to shape macroeconomic outcomes was limited, and popular influence over economic policy was ineffectual. This form of accountability probably existed because British citizens had difficulty gauging the real impacts of their government's policies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: Published online before print August 21, 2007
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
JEL classification: E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E5 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E6 - Macroeconomic Policy Formation, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, Macroeconomic Policy, and General Outlook
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2012 11:00
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 00:48

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