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How Global Performance Assessments Shape Attitudes toward Government Decision-Making: Survey Experimental Evidence

Davies, E; Gift, T; Lastra-Anadón, CX; (2020) How Global Performance Assessments Shape Attitudes toward Government Decision-Making: Survey Experimental Evidence. Governance 10.1111/gove.12504. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Global Performance Assessments (GPAs), which rank countries on a range of policy areas, can encourage domestic demands for policy reform. Yet can they also affect at what level of government—local or national—citizens want reform to take place? We theorize that, by emphasizing how countries fare relative to others, GPAs prompt citizens to view domestic policy underperformance as a “national problem requiring national solutions.” This increases calls for vesting policymaking authority in the hands of central governments. We argue that this effect should be most salient when underperformance is presented as a threat to a country's security because it induces citizens to “rally ‘round the flag.” To test our theory, we field an original survey experiment in the United States using fictitious news articles manipulating both the source of performance monitoring information and how it is presented. In line with our prediction, respondents are most likely to demand policy centralization when underperformance is framed using GPAs and citizens are primed to think of low scores as a threat to their country's security. These results indicate that GPAs could eventually increase calls for expanding the purview of national‐level politicians over policymaking.

Type: Article
Title: How Global Performance Assessments Shape Attitudes toward Government Decision-Making: Survey Experimental Evidence
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/gove.12504
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12504
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097737
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