Document Type


Publication Date



Chambers College of Business and Economics




In the U.S. many public services are provided by individuals who are selected in local elections. We ask whether elections encourage public actors to be responsive to citizens. We design a novel field experiment where we send an information request to a random sample of prosecutor offices. Whether someone replies to the request is our measurement of responsiveness. We show that offices whose head is up for re-election are more likely to respond. We also show that offices in states that appoint their local prosecutors are substantially less likely to respond than a matched set of offices with elected leadership.

Source Citation

McCannon, Bryan C. and Williams, Corey, Do Elections Encourage Public Actors to be More Responsive? (November 23, 2020). Available at SSRN: or


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