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Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar & Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar

The Management of the Pandemic and its Effects on Trust and Accountability

Monica Martinez-Bravo (CEMFI)

Tuesday 26 October 2021 14:00 - 15:30

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.


About this event

The management of the COVID-19 pandemic represented one of the greatest challenges that policymakers had to face in recent history. The rapidly changing reality and directives may have contributed to a popular perception of erratic management of governments in many countries. In this paper, we investigate how people process information regarding the quality of the management of the pandemic in their region. We conduct an online experiment to 5,000 respondents in Spain in November 2020. A randomly selected treated group obtained information on the number of contact tracers in their region, a key policy to manage the pandemic. We find that individuals greatly over-estimate the number of contact tracers in their region. When provided the actual number of contact tracers, individuals experience a significant reduction in trust in governments and other political institutions. We also find a reduction on individuals' willingness to comply with government's recommendation of getting vaccinated. Finally, we also find evidence that individuals ideological leanings affect how they process the negative news regarding the number of contact tracers. Those politically aligned to their regional government are more likely to shift blame to the central government for the deficient number of contact tracers. They are also less likely to reduce their electoral support for the regional incumbent. These findings illustrates the difficulties in the exercise of political accountability when political preferences are polarized and when areas of responsibility are not well established.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, both ONLINE AND IN PERSON in room 32L 3.05, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Mathilde Emeriau

Contact gov.comms@lse.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, both ONLINE AND IN PERSON in room 32L 3.05, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Mathilde Emeriau

Contact gov.comms@lse.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.