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Government responsiveness and political competition in comparative perspective

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Governments in democratic systems are expected to respond to the issue preferences of citizens. Yet we have a limited understanding of the factors that cause levels of responsiveness to vary across time and between countries. In this article, the authors suggest that political contestation is the primary mechanism driving policy responsiveness and that this, in turn, is mediated by political institutions and government popularity. To test this proposition, the authors analyze the responsiveness of executive policy promises (speeches) and policy actions (public expenditure) in Britain, Denmark, and the United States in the period from 1970 to 2005. These time-series analyses show that higher levels of political contestation are associated with more responsive executives.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/42075/

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